Collingwood's luckless Daniel Wells has opted against knee surgery in a bid to save his AFL career.
Wells will miss the next three months but has chosen not to undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee.
The 34-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of the season, hurt the knee in his AFL comeback last weekend - his first match at the elite level in almost a year.
Wells damaged the posterior and medial ligaments in the knee but by not having surgery, he has some hope of returning late in the season.
"Surgery was an option but this course firstly allows Daniel to make a full recovery and, secondly, keeps alive the possibility of a return to playing in 2019," Collingwood's general manager of football Geoff Walsh said in a statement on Monday.
"The recovery has to be strong and a priority, which it will be, but Daniel has the prospect of playing again to aim for."
Wells kicked three goals in his AFL comeback match before being injured in the third quarter of Collingwood's seven-point win against Sydney.
Walsh said the decision not to operate meant Wells would have the knee placed in a brace for a number of weeks before a gradual return to running and strengthening.
A complete recovery was expected to take up to three months.
Wells has endured a rotten stretch of injuries since joining Collingwood from North Melbourne for the 2017 season.
Wells has managed just 15 AFL games for the Magpies because of calf, thigh and foot injuries.
Australian Associated Press