Geelong forward Cory Gregson's foot injury is not as sinister as first feared with scans confirming he has suffered a sprained foot.
Gregson had played all four AFL games this season after coming back from a navicular injury in his left foot that had kept him out since round 14 of the 2016 season.
The 21-year-old reported soreness in the same foot during Sunday's big win over St Kilda at Kardinia Park and didn't reappear after the halftime break.
But fears of another long lay-off were allayed on Tuesday when scans confirmed a mid-foot sprain.
"Cory is in good spirits with a positive mindset," Cats football boss Simon Lloyd said.
"He will begin weight bearing on the foot over the coming days which is a great outcome."
How Gregson responds to that initial return to training will largely determine how long he is sidelined.
While that diagnosis is a positive for Geelong, it isn't all good news. The club has revealed luckless defender Lachie Henderson has undergone another bout of knee surgery.
It was Henderson's third operation on his right knee since the end of last season and there is no definitive time line for his return.
"Lachie's knee surgery went as expected, we believe this will allow him to return to football later this year," Lloyd said.
"Lachie continues to remain focused on doing all he can to get back to football and will work closely with the club's medical team on the next steps in his rehab."
Key defensive teammate Harry Taylor also remains out indefinitely with a foot injury.
Doubt also remains about how long superstar midfielder Gary Ablett will need to overcome a hamstring strain.