Wollongong brass will explore the option of acquiring a stop-gap backcourt player - potentially before this week's season-defining double-header against New Zealand and Townsville.
The ailing Hawks' worst fears were realised over the weekend when scans confirmed starting point guard Rhys Martin (season) and All-Star import Lance Hurdle (indefinite) will be missing down the stretch.
Martin, lauded as in career-best form, ruptured his ACL during the first quarter of Friday's demoralising overtime loss to the free-shooting Cairns and will miss the rest of the season.
Hurdle will be referred to a specialist for further diagnosis on his own knee complaint, but will be sidelined for several weeks.
Coach Gordie McLeod said the Hawks, beaten in six of their past seven clashes after a red-hot start to the season, may scour the open market to sign an emergency back-up.
Any deal would have to be completed pending the Hawks squeezing it into their budget.
"That responsibility could fall onto our development players," McLeod said of filling the Martin-Hurdle void.
"The other thing we have to do is look at what our options are available to us within the rules and where we are with our budget.
"Obviously there's not going to be Australian players out there with same skill package as what Rhys is delivering. If they had they would have already been in the league.
"They're just things we have to work through - the problem with that is we don't have much time. There might not be too many opportunities to get someone in this coming week.
"We'll look at that, if that's at all possible, but if not we'll have to make that decision when we know more about Lance's situation."
The injury-cursed Hawks were inching towards a clean bill of health until the Martin and Hurdle double blow.
Already without Tyson Demos, Tim Coenraad and Larry Davidson for extended periods this season, Dan Jackson was the only player not in uniform on Friday.
He's eyeing off a return against the league-leading Breakers in New Zealand on Thursday and making the trip to Townsville two days later.
McLeod backed Demos and the scuffling Adris Deleon to shoulder the majority of play-making minutes, but said he would implore his entire roster to take on extra responsibility.
"Those guys will have to shoulder a fair bit more responsibility, but it's not only them, it's us as a team," he said.
"It's not about throwing it at them and saying, 'you've got to do it now'.
"They're obviously going to have to come in and play significantly more minutes than what they have. That's often what happens in this situation - someone else's misfortune then turns into an opportunity for someone else."
McLeod acknowledged Hurdle's injury could also be season-ending, which only added to the "sombre" mood at training yesterday.
"The reality of the situation is the league doesn't stop for anyone," he said.