OUT-OF-CONTRACT Richmond forward Jacob Townsend accepts he'll likely have to wait until the end of the Trade Period to know if his future is at Punt Road.

But the 2017 premiership player is optimistic he'll stay a Tiger and has no desire to leave the club despite an up and down season.

"We're talking about it now and I'm not too sure what's going on," Townsend told AFL.com.au.

"There could be a fair few changes with players that come and go, like any other team [has], and I think I'll just have to wait and see who comes before anything is done.


"Being the type of player I am and with my experience, I think it will be at the back end of trade period so I'll have to wait and see."

Townsend, 25, was dropped to the VFL three times this season before he broke his lower left leg in the final VFL game of the year.

The former Giant only played 10 AFL games in 2018 after his remarkable run last season where he broke into the side in round 22 and held his spot to win a premiership medal.

But, while he remains realistic about the business side of the competition and is open to his manager talking to rival clubs about new opportunities, his preference is to remain a Tiger if he can.

"I love Richmond so if there was a deal here I'd probably take it, I love all the boys and it's been pretty well documented how tight we are as a bunch," he said.

"At the end of the day, you have to look after yourself but players are on AFL lists to play AFL footy and boys I'm pretty close mates with might have to change clubs for more opportunities.

"That's just the industry."

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Townsend had surgery two days after breaking his lower leg in the first minute of the Tigers' win over Frankston on August 25 when he was tackled by former teammate Jake Batchelor.

"As soon as I did it, I knew it wasn't great," he said.

"My foot got stuck and my leg went the other way, and when I came off my leg was a bit bowed and the doctors weren't sure what was going on but they knew it wasn't good.

"It was the last game, which was a bit of a shame because I didn't know if I was going to come back into the AFL side or not."

He had a plate put over his fibula and his syndesmosis joint wired together, which means he may require another operation down the track if that causes irritation.

In the latest step in his rehabilitation, he shed his moon boot last week and will now focus on strengthening his calf muscle again.

Despite its dramatic nature, Townsend remains confident his injury wasn't as bad as the one that robbed Dan Rioli of half of his season this year.

He also believes he'll be available for round one 2019 - wherever he may be playing - with plans to spend most of his off-season working on the leg.

"The surgeon said I shouldn't miss footy at all, that's the plan anyway," he said.

"From start to finish, it should be about four months and it's been four weeks now, so still a bit to go.

"I'll be in the club a fair bit over the off-season to try and get it right.

"I'll probably miss a few weeks [at the start] of pre-season although we come back on December 5 so I probably won't train before the [Christmas] break again.

"Then I'll be back in full training post that."