Just when it seemed the Wollongong Hawks were overcoming their injury woes, forward Dan Jackson has been added to the casualty list.
Jackson strained his calf at training the day before the New Year's Eve home loss to Melbourne.
He sat on the Hawks bench in street clothes against the Tigers and could be sidelined for the rest of the month.
"He pulled his calf on Sunday and the physios had a look at him straight away, but until we get a scan on it we won't know what's going on there," Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod said.
The Hawks were hoping things were looking up on the injury front.
Guard Tyson Demos made his comeback against Melbourne after sitting out five games with a knee injury, while forward Tim Coenraad (foot) and centre Larry Davidson (rib) are both close to returning.
The injuries have taken their toll, with the Hawks losing four of their past five games after starting the season with six straight wins.
"At least we got Tyson back and hopefully we can move those other guys along a bit more next week, but we have to go with what we've got and we need to play smart," McLeod said.
The Hawks were a step off the pace for most of the night against the Tigers, suffering their first home defeat of the season, leaving them in third spot with an 8-5 record.
If the Hawks were counting on being cut some slack, they certainly won't get it when they host titleholders New Zealand on Saturday night.
"We're against the champions ... we have to lick the wounds and stop the bleeding really quickly, and jump straight back on the horse," McLeod said.
Led by Cedric Jackson, the Breakers are on top of the table with an impressive 11-3 record after road wins over Adelaide and Cairns.