Port Adelaide midfielder Zak Butters is targeting a return to playing within a month after having ankle surgery on Monday night.
Butters was injured in a tackle during his side’s two-point win over Richmond on Friday night and was subbed out of the game.
Scans revealed a syndesmosis injury and after a couple of days in a moon boot, the 20-year-old elected to go under the knife to ensure he could be back playing as soon as possible.
“They gave me two options with what I wanted to do,” Butters told Adelaide radio just before his surgery.
“Not get surgery and try keep it in a moon boot for a couple of weeks to try and heal itself, or get some surgery and hit it on the head and that way you know that when you come back it’s going to be all good and a steadier approach with the recovery.
“So, there was not too much time difference with the return to play so I thought get some surgery and that way I know when I come back, I’ll be ready to go.”
Butters said he expected to miss at least a month of football.
“I rang a few people who have previously had the operation and played at the elite level,” Butters said.
“Some of them came back within four to five weeks, so I’ll do everything I can post-operation to get the rehab right.
“Who knows, I could be back within the next month. It’s just a matter of how it pulls up after the surgery.
“I’ve got a really good support network with friends and family and even all the fans who are messaging me. I just really appreciate it and I’ll be back out there soon.”
Butters said winning the game made it easier to stomach his injury and it would help to be rehabilitating with fellow midfielder Xavier Duursma who was also injured in the win over the Tigers and is booked for knee surgery to fix a damaged lateral collateral ligament.
It was a bruising encounter for several Port Adelaide players and Butters said injuries were a risk of the game.
“It was always going to be a highly contested game from the start and we had our minds on that and that’s what we were going to bring as well,” Butters explained.
“Unfortunately (injuries) happen in footy and all sports really. Every time you take the field you put yourself out there to get injured possibly. It’s part of the game.”
Port Adelaide next faces Carlton at the MCG on Saturday night.