Richmond midfielder Reece Conca will be sidelined for at least the next three weeks after suffering a foot injury against Adelaide on Sunday.
Conca suffered a lisfranc foot fracture in the first quarter of Richmond’s 76-point loss to the Crows, and will now miss crucial clashes against the Bulldogs and Giants over the coming three rounds.
Hardwick confirmed the injury during a press conference on Thursday, but believes the 24-year-old will come back playing as strongly as he’s started the season.
“When we get really excited about his progress, unfortunately, something like this happens. We’re really pleased with the season he’s put out thus far and he’ll work his way back into the side,” Hardwick said on Thursday.
“I’ve got no doubt he’s going to be a good player. He just hasn’t had a good run for it and at some stage his luck’s going to turn. We’re hoping this will be the back of it.
“He’s disappointed because he’s not going to play, but if you’re going to get injured you want to go out playing well, which he has.
“He goes out confident knowing he can play at a high level. He’ll be back.”