Tigers' Higgins out for rest of AFL season

Richmond's Jack Higgins played 13 of his 33 AFL games this season.
Richmond's Jack Higgins played 13 of his 33 AFL games this season.

Richmond forward Jack Higgins will undergo surgery next week after suffering bleeding on the brain and won't play again this AFL season.

But the 20-year-old, who was discharged from hospital on Thursday afternoon, is expected to return to action next year

"Jack's neurosurgeon has decided the best course of action is for Jack to have surgery next week to repair the area of abnormal blood vessels responsible for the bleeding on his brain," Richmond club doctor Greg Hickey said in a statement.

"Following the surgery, there will be a period of recovery and rehabilitation for some months, but we certainly expect Jack to resume playing football next season."

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said the abnormality, which Higgins has had since birth, was known to be a chance of flaring between the ages of 10 and 30.

"He will play footy again, which is really exciting for us and great for Jack," he said.

"We're just rapt, and our medicos did a terrific job of detecting and sending him in for scans.

"So now we sort of know the solution, we have just got to be patient and wait until that occurs."

Higgins had spent the past two nights in hospital after initially complaining of headaches.

He has not been in Richmond's AFL team since round 13 but played in the Tigers' state-league side last Sunday.

Hardwick said the brain bleed wasn't a result of an incident in Sunday's VFL game.

The 33-gamer was in good spirits during his stint in hospital.

"He was meant to have no visitors in hospital and the doc rocks up and he has got eight to 10 of his mates in the room with him," said Hardwick.

"He is one of those guys and it's what we love about this kid ... we're very lucky to have him within our football club, he is always positive."

Hardwick believed AFL protocols for head injuries were world-leading in sport.

"The game itself is incredibly volatile but I think AFL clubs deal with it the best in the world," he said.

Australian Associated Press