James Virgili could miss the final two rounds of the season in a blow to Broadmeadow's finals hopes and his chances of claiming an elusive leading scorer title.
Virgili suffered a grade one groin strain in the 3-2 loss to Hamilton at Darling Street Oval on Sunday.
The defeat left the defending NNSW NPL champions in sixth place on 32 points, two behind the top four with two rounds to go. Magic realistically need to beat the Jets Youth on Saturday night and Charlestown at home the following Sunday to make the finals.
They will likely be without Virgili for both, while Ryan Ensor will miss this Saturday's match on yellow card accumulation. Ensor also hurt his ankle against Hamilton but he could return for the final round.
Star mid-season recruit Andrew Hoole is also sidelined with a foot injury that has restricted him to just three appearances.
Virgili remained hopeful of playing against Charlestown after receiving the news the damage was only minor.
"It's a good result if we were already in the finals, because then I could just have the last two weeks off," Virgili said.
"But because we're not guaranteed, it makes it tricky.
"This week, even if I wanted to, I don't think I could play, but maybe next week.
"If we win, then I'll see how it goes for next week and maybe I can come back a little early, but I'll just have to play it by ear."
While the injury is a setback for Magic, it also potentially narrows the field in the golden boot race.
Virgili scored against Hamilton to take his season tally to 12 goals in 15 games.
It put him equal second with suspended Edgeworth striker Oliver Smith and Maitland's Joel Wood, one behind Lambton Jaffas star Braedyn Crowley, who has 13 in 15 matches. Lake Macquarie's Sam Walker, the 2018 Graham Jennings Medal winner and league-leading scorer, has 10.
With Smith suspended until the finals, Wood now appears the only major threat to Crowley for the award.
The groin injury continues a frustrating run for Virgili in the chase for the award.
He has scored 18, 11 and 14 goals a season since joining Magic from the Newcastle Jets but he has yet to claim the top-scorer award.
A shoulder injury that ruled him out of the final three rounds proved costly in 2016, and he missed three matches this season with a hamstring problem.
"I always seem to miss four or fives games a year through little injuries," he said.
"I'm always thereabouts but then I pick up an injury. It's a bit frustrating, but it is what it is."
While Magic will lose Josh Piddington, and perhaps Justin Broadley, to retirement, James and Luke Virgili have committed for 2020.