Collingwood midfielder Josh Thomas suffered tendon damage in a finger while fending off a mugger during his AFL off-season break.
Thomas will have no ball work before Christmas while the wound heals, but the Magpies are confident it will not have a dramatic effect on his preseason.
The Magpies said the 23-year-old defended himself from the attacker while holidaying last month in Los Angeles.
His hand was cut in the incident and the wound needed stitches.
Thomas had more treatment back in Australia when the injury became infected and this revealed the tendon injury.
He will return to training on November 17 and the Magpies will train until December 19, when they take their Christmas break.
The injury means Thomas will be restricted to running during the pre-Christmas period.
Thomas played 13 games this season for a career total of 32.
Collingwood recruited him with their number 75 pick in the 2009 national draft.
He battled injuries for three years before making his senior debut last season.