RICHMOND has confirmed that Alex Rance will miss the remainder of the 2019 season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in last night's 33-point win over Carlton.
The 29-year-old will consult with a surgeon on Friday, and is expected to have surgery to repair the damage in the coming days.
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"We're really disappointed for Alex that he'll spend an extended period of time out of the game, he's a wonderful player and fantastic leader of our team," Richmond general manager of football Neil Balme said in a club statement.
Rance, a five-time All Australian, said he had been blown away by the outpouring of well wishes from the football community as he arrived at Olympic Park medical centre on Friday morning for scans, and told reporters he had been touched by a number of text messages from opposition players.
"I've had some amazing outreaches of love," Rance said.
"Daisy Thomas, Paddy McCartin, Scott Pendlebury, Trav Boak, Cal Ward … there's been a heap more, sorry if I've missed anybody who reached out.
"It really does show that there's a lot of family in footy, and as much as we're competitors and fierce rivals, there's still so much love. Nobody wants to see anyone go down and I really do appreciate that. I know my teammates love and care for me, so I'm very grateful for that."
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Rance left the field late in the third quarter on Thursday night after landing awkwardly on his right leg in a marking contest.
Rance's knee looked to buckle upon landing, with the Richmond premiership player immediately taken from the field in pain by the club's doctors.
Despite facing a year out, Rance was upbeat on Friday morning.
"I wouldn't say shattering, that's a little bit dramatic," he said.
"It is what it is, there's injuries all the time. I'm just grateful that I have the life that I have and have the people around me that I do.
"It's still pretty raw. I'm just trying to focus on all the great things in my life at the moment. I'm not too down. It was a beautiful full moon last night, we get the win, fresh meat in the armour, there's plenty to celebrate."
Rance also cheekily responded to an Instagram post by @afl, saying he is only 'likely' to miss the season.