Cats forward Esava Ratugolea could miss the rest of the season after suffering a broken ankle during his side’s win over Carlton on Saturday night.
Originally thought to be a broken leg, the 19-year old landed awkwardly on his foot after going up for a mark during the second quarter.
Play was held up for five minutes at GMHBA Stadium as Ratugolea was being treated to by club medicos, before being taken off the ground in a medical cart and redirected to a Epworth Hospital.
“It looks like that is a broken ankle, significant but not horrific as first thought,” Geelong coach Chris Scott told reporters post-match.
“He will obviously miss a decent chunk of footy and it looks like he will need surgery.
“It’s hard when you lose a structurally important player and he’s more than that as he’s been important to us in general.
“It will have an impact long-term, serious injuries to young players is one of the worst things that can happen in the game.
“But we will help him find a way back because he is a rare talent.”
Ratugolea debuted for Geelong in round one this season, playing eight games in the blue and white hoops.
In other injury news, the Cats lost Harry Taylor to a plantar fascia injury before the game and was a late withdrawal, with Aron Black coming into the 22.