RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick says premiership pair Shai Bolton and Daniel Rioli have the club's support after a nightclub altercation that left Bolton with a fractured wrist.
High-flying Bolton will miss the next two to three weeks, while Rioli required stitches after being punched and suffering a cut under his eye.
The Tigers released a statement on Monday night confirming Rioli had confronted a patron after his girlfriend had been "subjected to inappropriate behaviour".
Bolton became involved in the altercation and sustained a fractured wrist that will require surgery.
Hardwick said the club did not condone violence but had cleared the pair of wrongdoing in the circumstances after a thorough investigation.
"A player's partner was put in a situation she didn't feel comfortable with and Daniel stood up and tried to eradicate the situation and was punched in the eye," Hardwick told Fox Footy.
"I don't condone violence, but the reality is if you put anyone in that situation they're going to stand up for their partner and their mates.
"Shai was the same. It was a difficult situation. It's not one we ideally want to be in. But the reality is we are where we are."
Hardwick said football chiefs Tim Livingstone and Blair Hartley had led an investigation into the incident and were satisfied with the players' explanation.
"We've got to the bottom of it and the evidence we've got and the story we have," the coach said.
"From our point of view, we back in the players. We're disappointed it's come to that situation. We don't condone violence but we understand these situations happen from time to time."
The Tigers already have plenty of firepower on their injury list, with Shane Edwards (ankle) this week joining Kane Lambert (calf), Dion Prestia (calf), Trent Cotchin (hamstring) and Ivan Soldo (ACL) on the sidelines.
Bolton's injury is a significant blow to Richmond, with the out-of-contract midfielder a strong chance to be leading the club's best and fairest at this point of the season.
He took a spectacular mark against Geelong which is set to be in the running for Mark of the Year, and is averaging 22 disposals and has kicked 10 goals in eight games this year.