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Big Cat's injury not as bad as first feared

Serious leg injury ends Ratugolea's day Geelong's Esava Ratugolea has been stretchered off the ground after his leg buckled under him in a marking contest

ESAVA Ratugolea's injury is not as bad as first feared, despite being taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old forward instantly clutched for his right leg after it was crushed at the bottom of a marking contest in the second term against Carlton at GMHBA Stadium.

After initial thoughts that he may have broken both the tibia and fibula in his right leg, coach Chris Scott said it looked more likely to be his ankle post-match.

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"We've got some serious disappointment around Esava Ratugolea's injury, it looks like that's a broken ankle," Scott said.

"(It's) significant, but not horrific as first thought.

"He'll obviously miss a decent chunk of footy and looks likely he'll need surgery.

"Serious injuries to young players are just about the worst thing you can imagine in the game."

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After attempting to fly for a mark, Ratugolea was stopped in his tracks, his right leg buckling under his powerful frame.

Medicos handed him a pain-relief whistle as the stretcher arrived.

Ratugolea, who has become a fan favourite early in his eight-game career, gave the thumbs up as he made his way off the ground.

Geelong vice-president Bob Gartland was spotted consoling Ratugolea in the race while waiting to be taken away by the ambulance.