Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley expects Isaac Quaynor back in action this month despite the young defender's gruesome leg injury leaving him on crutches.
The AFL was forced to remind clubs and players about its rules that outlaw metal studs after Quaynor had his right shin accidentally sliced open by Sydney player Sam Wicks' non-compliant boots in a tackle.
The 20-year-old Magpie was left with a deep 15-20cm wound, soft tissue damage and some bone bruising.
But Buckley on Sunday said Quaynor was in good spirits three days on from the incident and would likely return in the next few rounds.
"He's moving around okay and he's actually on crutches just for a couple of days to keep the weight off that leg," Buckley said.
"He's begun his recovery and it's just going to be a matter of looking after the wound, making sure it doesn't get infected and giving it every chance to heal."
In the wake of Quaynor's injury, the AFL put it on clubs and players to work with boot manufacturers to ensure all footwear worn during matches fits within the guidelines.
Buckley suggested AFL-enforced staff cutbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to an increased number of players wearing non-compliant boots.
He also said it was the shape of certain studs, rather than the material that they're made from, that concerned him.
"I know clearly the rule against metal studs and stops has been there but I'd suggest it's more the shape of them," Buckley said.
"The boot-studders are the ones that make sure that the boots comply and we sort of just move on.
"The compliance can get a little bit grey and I think that we've seen evidence of a few of those compliance issues not really being attended to because of the changes in responsibility in football clubs and the AFL widely."
Geelong coach Chris Scott said his club had conducted an "audit" of players' boots ahead of Monday night's clash with St Kilda to ensure they are all compliant.
Saints skipper Jarryn Geary said his teammates knew the rules around what boots they are allowed to wear and had no issues on the matter going forward.