MELBOURNE will be anxiously awaiting an update on Daisy Pearce's fitness ahead of the NAB AFLW finals after the Demons captain suffered a knee injury in their two-point win over Brisbane.
Pearce got her right leg caught underneath her when she was tackled while attempting to kick a goal in the opening two minutes of Saturday's match at Casey Fields and immediately headed down to the rooms.
The 32-year-old was ruled out of the remainder of the match with "knee soreness" and later wore a leg brace and watched on from the bench as Melbourne mounted a brave fightback to secure a 6.2 (38) to 6.0 (36) victory and with it, a home qualifying final.
"(It's) just some knee soreness at the moment, so we won't know more until we get a scan, but she's up and about, she's pretty optimistic," Melbourne coach Mick Stinear said.
"So we don't think it's anything too sinister, but we'll obviously get her checked out."
Pearce will have scans on Sunday with Stinear "hopeful" she would play finals but said the Lions win showed they could cover her absence.
"She's a critical part of our forward line but (Pearce's absence) showed the versatility of a lot of our players who were able to step up - and I think they did that today," he said.
"So it'd definitely be a blow for us but the work she's done to help lead this team has enabled them to be able to perform their roles when she's not there."
Saturday's game was a missed opportunity for Brisbane, who let the result slip in the final term and will now have to wait on Sunday's match between Adelaide and Collingwood to see where they finish.
"Your destiny's not with you anymore so you've got to rely on other results," coach Craig Starcevich said.
"So we had a chance to look after that ourselves today but couldn't quite get it done."
DEMONS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats
The Lions had a different build-up, confined to their Melbourne hotel on Friday after needing coronavirus tests following their arrival from Brisbane, but were excellent for much of the game.
Alyssa Bannan cut the deficit to five points with a long-range goal early in the final term - and Tyla Hanks put Melbourne in front barely a minute later.
Brisbane's Greta Bodey received a free kick on the paint of 50m and lined up after the siren to win the game but her shot fell fell short.
MELBOURNE 1.1 3.1 4.1 6.2 (38)
BRISBANE 1.0 5.0 6.0 6.0 (36)
Melbourne: Scott 3, Paxman, Bannan, Hanks
Brisbane: Davidson 2, Wardlaw, Hodder, Smith, Arnell
Melbourne: Scott, Zanker, Mithen, Paxman, L.Pearce, Hore
Brisbane: C.Svarc, Hickie, Anderson, O'Dwyer, Conway, Grider
Melbourne: D.Pearce (right knee)
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