RICHMOND midfielder Nathan Drummond has suffered his second serious knee injury in as many years and will require another knee reconstruction.
In a devastating blow for the young Tiger, Drummond ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his 'good' left knee playing in the VFL on Saturday and underwent scans that confirmed the club's fears, with the versatile midfielder likely to be sidelined for up to 12 months.
The 22-year-old ruptured the ACL in his right knee during his debut in the Anzac Day eve clash against Melbourne in 2015, undergoing a full reconstruction that sidelined him until round 10 last season.
Coach Damien Hardwick said the club had faith that Drummond would return to be a quality player after a second serious injury in just his third season.
"It's really disappointing for the lad," Hardwick said.
"We've got complete faith in the kid that he'll get back on and get to it, the way he did his rehab last time.
"We think he's going to be a quality player (and) we were really pleased with his progression.
"It's a long way back from a knee 'reco', but we're very confident with the type of kid he is that he'll get back and play some good footy for us at some stage."
Drummond returned from his first reconstruction after 13-and-a-half months, playing six VFL games before breaking into the senior team for four AFL matches late in the year.
Recruited with pick No.52 in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft, he was being used in defensive roles and was among a group of Tigers jockeying for senior selection this year.