SUPERSTAR Tiger Dustin Martin will miss the rest of the season after suffering a significant kidney injury in Richmond's season-saving win over Brisbane.
Martin was taken to hospital after the game and will remain there for several days for observation, while the rest of the team is expected to fly home to Victoria.
Richmond Club Doctor, Greg Hickey said he expected Martin to make a full recovery.
“Dustin stayed the night in hospital for observation and has been seen by a urologist this morning. He is feeling good and remains stable,” Hickey said.
“Given the delicate nature of the injury and recovery timeline, he will not play football again this season.”
The crunching bump with Lions wingman Mitch Robinson in the third term ended the triple Norm Smith medallist's game and saw him in serious pain.
>>WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER BELOW
He left the ground and played no further part in the Tigers' important 20-point win.
Martin's big hit, as well as a hamstring strain for Kamdyn McIntosh and a late ankle concern for David Astbury, were the injury worries out of what was a brilliant win for the Tigers, who breathed life into their fading season and snapped a four-game losing streak.
The victory puts the Tigers back into the top eight as they search for a club-first three-peat of premierships and Hardwick said his team can do some damage in September if it makes the finals.
"We've always had the confidence, we probably just haven't played to the level we'd like," he said.
TIGERS v LIONS Full match coverage and stats
"Our players coming in and out of the side [meant] our connection and consistency wasn't there. We're going to get the vast majority back now we think so we're really excited about what it does look like for us," he said.
"The story's ours to write. The ball's in our court. We just need to play as well as we can and hopefully we make the finals. I reckon if we get there we're going to cause some grief. We'll back ourselves in and see how we go."
The Tigers are planning to fly back to Melbourne on Saturday morning, with Hardwick saying it was "completely understandable" Geelong has asked the AFL to move next week's 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final rematch to GMHBA Stadium instead of the MCG.
"I can understand that. We're happy to play anywhere any time. We've travelled a fair bit this year so it's not going to hold any fears for us," he said.
Brisbane counterpart Chris Fagan saw his side give up a half-time lead to be overrun by the Tigers, which was the Lions' second successive defeat after last week's poor showing against St Kilda.
The loss could see the Lions fall out of the top four by the end of the round in what shapes as a tight race in the final block of the season.
"Two weeks in a row we've let opposition teams have run-ons of goals, there was five in the third quarter, so we need to have a look at why that's happening," Fagan said.
"We're giving away too many inside-50s, so there's a number of things to look at. We were looking a million dollars a few weeks ago when we beat Geelong and then went over to Adelaide and played particularly well but we've struggled a little bit since.
"You want to win every week but you can't. We've got to learn our lessons and improve next week."