RICHMOND has received a positive boost with Reece Conca escaping a fractured ankle after a sickening incident in Thursday night's win over Sydney.
As the Tigers headed into the club for recovery on Friday morning, players were buoyed by the news that Conca had avoided surgery on what is believed to be a dislocated ankle.
There were initial fears he could be sidelined for the remainder of the season as he lay on the Etihad Stadium turf screaming in agony, but the club is confident he will return before the end of the home and away season.
SUMS UP OUR FOOTY CLUB Every Tiger gets to Conca
"We're so pleased for Reece that the outcome is as good as we could have hoped for," footy boss Neil Balme said.
"The plan is for Reece to wear a moonboot for two weeks, he will then be able to resume a conditioning program, and we expect him to be available later this season."
Conca's left ankle twisted under a tackle from Swans Lance Franklin and Callum Sinclair in the first term on Thursday night.
Tigers teammates surrounded Conca – who was playing his 100th game – on the stretcher as the game was stopped for several minutes.
"I just went and saw him up at the Epworth and he's in good spirits," Jack Riewoldt told reporters at Punt Road on Friday morning.
"(We've) got a bit of positive news that I don't think he's fractured his ankle which is good.
"Credit to our medical team and our doc who actually had to realign his ankle which is a really dangerous procedure that he had to do at the ground last night, you just don't know what you're going to get from doing that."
"It's certainly looking a lot brighter than it was on the ground last night."
TIGERS STAY TOP Full match coverage and stats
The 25-year-old's family, who had flown in from Western Australia for his milestone, were by his side in the Richmond rooms as he was taken to hospital.