The dual premiership player suffered the injury during his side’s loss to St Kilda on Saturday night.
Scans revealed cartilage damage that will require surgery, ruling him out for four to five weeks.
“David had an incident in the game where he came down from a marking contest and had a little bit of a subluxation of the patella,” Richmond physical performance manager Peter Burge told the club’s website.
“He felt some discomfort with that and we checked him and he was having a bit of an issue with landing and hopping.
“But we got him back out there and he was able to function for the rest of the game.
“(He) had some scans on Sunday and there’s a little bit of loose fragment of articular cartilage which had come off behind the patella which needs to be removed. So he’s going into surgery today (Tuesday) and will miss around 4-5 weeks.”
The Tigers will look to get their first win since the shutdown when they face Melbourne at the MCG this Sunday at 3.35pm (AEST).