Horsham Demon Jordyn Burke has avoided serious injury after an incident in the match against Horsham Saints on Sunday.
Burke was cleared of any fractures, but has suffered a bulged disc impeding nerves in his back after copping a high knock in the weekend's Wimmera league contest.
Burke will wear a permanent neck brace until he sees a specialist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital next Wednesday.
Burke said he felt "lucky" to emerge without serious damage.
"I was very relieved on Sunday night when I got the CT scan and there were no fractures or bleeds," Burke said.
"Unfortunately I got the MRI and it was not great news - we will see if I need surgery when I see the specialist next Wednesday.
"But the overriding feeling is I feel very lucky."
Burke had his head over the football midway through the second quarter of the game, when the hip of his Saints opponent Thomas McDonald struck him.
Trainers immediately immobilised Burke, putting him into a precautionary neck brace and stretchering him from the field.
Burke said he feared the worst.
"It was one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me," he said.
"All I really remember was laying on my back and feeling excruciating pain going down my neck and back, and in my left arm. It was pretty scary."
Burke said it was simply an unlucky accident.
"I had a chat with Tom McDonald and I reassured him that there was no hard feelings from my end," Burke said.
"That's just footy and that's the way it goes. It was just an unfortunate footy accident."
McDonald has not been reported for the incident.
After the incident, both sides agreed to call an early half-time, allowing paramedics to treat Burke. Horsham Saints went on to win the match by seven points in a thrilling encounter.
Burke thanked the trainers and everyone in the community for their support.
"The Horsham and Saints trainers - I can't thank them enough for the care that they took (and) for getting onto the ambulance so quickly," he said.
"I just want to say thanks to everyone, and my family especially. It's been a pretty full on couple of days, and I really appreciate everyone's well wishes."
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