Mitch Duncan thought it was a problem with his boot, but the Geelong midfielder actually broke his foot and will miss three months of the AFL season.
Duncan continued his career-best form last Saturday night and was one of the Cats’ prime movers in their loss to Sydney.
That was until the third quarter, when Duncan felt something was amiss with his footwear at ANZ Stadium.
“I was just running, went to change direction and felt a little pop in my foot,” Duncan told the Cats’ website.
“I thought one of my studs had actually come off, but that wasn’t the case.”
Duncan was substituted out of the game and scans revealed a fracture of the fifth metatarsal, one of the bones on the outside of the foot.
The young gun requires surgery and will be sidelined for 10-12 weeks.
“It is a bit annoying,” the 23-year-old said.
“I have been very lucky. I think I’ve played 107 games and haven’t really had a major injury.
“A bit of bad news, but there’s a lot of people more worse off than this.”
Duncan was best on ground in the Cats’ recent wins over Collingwood and Richmond.
The man who served as Geelong’s substitute in their 2011 grand-final win remains determined to get back on the field this season.
“I’m already getting my head around what I have to do to get back to play footy this year,” he said.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to come back and contribute.”
Duncan joins 2007 Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel (knee), Daniel Menzel (knee), Nathan Vardy (knee), Andrew Mackie (quad), Billie Smedts (broken collarbone) and James Kelly (ruptured testicle) on Geelong’s injury list.
Tom Hawkins was a late withdrawal from the game at ANZ Stadium due to a glute strain, but the power forward is expected to face Carlton on Friday night.