The Canberra Capitals' miserable season has taken another major hit, with Lauren Jackson suffering another injury setback which will keep her out of WNBL action until January.
Capitals coach Carrie Graf admits she faces the biggest challenge of her career to lift Canberra out a horror slump which has put the club on the verge of the longest losing streak in its history.
But the veteran mentor wants to dig her heels in to avoid an unwanted slice of history, vowing to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of a Capitals turnaround.
It was hoped that Jackson, the 34-year-old four-time Olympian, would be ready to make her comeback against Townsville at the AIS Arena on Sunday after battling persistent knee problems.
Her knee didn't cope with increased training last week and she is not expected to be available for selection until after the league's break for Christmas.
It's another blow for Canberra after the once mighty franchise lost its eighth consecutive match last weekend to start the 2015-14 campaign.
"It's massive, she's an iconic player and there were all hopes she'd be on the court for 15-20 minutes a game for the entire season," Graf said of Jackson's absence.
"It [Jackson's knee] has to be able to handle basketball load to move on and progress and it just didn't respond. It's somewhat back to the drawing board. We'll re-evaluate after another three to four weeks of rehab."
The Capitals are massive underdogs in their battle with defending champions Townsville.
Another loss would see them equal the second-worst losing streak (nine in a row) in the club's history, equalling the dismal run in the 1990 season.
Canberra's worst losing streak stands at 10, which was set in the 1996-97 campaign.
Graf has been in charge of the Capitals for the past 10 years and admitted the team needed to reinvent its preparation and mentality to reverse its results.
"Absolutely it's the biggest challenge, I've never been part of a team that has been 0-8 [to start the season]. Part of it has been personnel and roster," Graf said.
"No one, not the players or myself, want to be losing games. Step back and think what do we do different. It comes back to we have to do the simple things well.
"We can't try to be fancy, we have to be gritty. For us now, it's about creating upsets. We're lacking some confidence ... it's a massive challenge.
"If I was a 25-year-old going through this it would be a lot tougher ... but sometimes you look too hard. Do we have a night off? Do we do things differently? Do we not show film? We've got to put it in perspective."
Canberra will be without Rosie Fadlevic after her short-term contract finished last week and Tanya Smith's similar deal will end in December.
Stephanie Talbot, 21, said the Capitals owed it to veteran Jess Bibby to rebound against Townsville after they failed to fire in her record-breaking 378th game last weekend.
"You get ups and downs in confidence levels. When you lose eight games in a row you start to doubt a little bit," Talbot said.
"You put pressure on yourself to win when you haven't been able to get it. You try to make teammates' milestones better by winning for them. I guess we [owe her] but we want to get it for ourselves."
WNBL ROUND SEVEN
Sunday: Canberra Capitals v Townsville Fire at AIS Arena, 1pm.