Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt is facing a slow start to the AFL pre-season after undergoing an unexpected ankle reconstruction.
Riewoldt initially went under the knife for a minor clean-up to the ankle he rolled badly in the Tigers' round-five loss to Melbourne.
But it was revealed the injury was more serious than first thought despite the star forward not missing a game all year.
"I thought I was going in for a bit of ankle clean-up," Riewoldt told Fox Footy on Tuesday night.
"Turns out I had a sneaky little reco on a lateral ligament there ... it went a little bit further than what I thought. I had a finger fused as well."
Riewoldt expects a slower-than-usual start to the pre-season and would be monitored until Christmas.
"(I) won't be on my feet as early as I usually would be," Riewoldt said.
"But I've had one before on the same ankle and I bounced back from that pretty well."