Sydney will have to defend its premiership without Adam Goodes after the injured champion lost his race against the clock on Thursday and was ruled out for the rest of the season.
And there was more injury heartache for Ben McGlynn and Gary Rohan, forcing the Swans to pick two finals debutants for the semi-final against Carlton on Saturday night due to the pair's calf problems. Those beneficiaries are 22-year-old Shane Biggs and 19-year-old Harry Cunningham, who have played only five senior matches between them.
The Swans were left with no choice but to pull the pin on Goodes' campaign after the dual Brownlow medallist failed to complete the club's final training session of the week.
Goodes has not aggravated his knee injury but the effects of a searching session on Tuesday took its toll on the 33-year-old.
"Adam trained as hard as he had for quite a while on Tuesday and pulled up OK yesterday, but he was a little bit sore in the warm-up today and therefore we decided not to push him," Swans coach John Longmire said.
"It is not a case of him having re-injured his knee – he's still fine – but the intensity of Tuesday's session meant that it was hard for him to back it up again today, so that's his season done."
Carlton has named an unchanged team for the match and also has an unchanged squad. Nick Duigan and Andrew McInnes have retained their positions ahead of the two players they replaced shortly before last weekend's win against Richmond, Brock McLean (quad) and Levi Casboult. David Ellard has been retained as the third emergency.
Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was named despite having not conspicuously overcome a foot injury he suffered against the Tigers. Casboult, a 199-centimetre forward, could be included as a relief ruckman if Kreuzer does not recover sufficiently.
Sydney has won all three matches it has played against the Blues at ANZ Stadium, most recently in the 2010 finals series by five points when the Blues' were punished for their last-quarter inaccuracy.