Geelong coach Chris Scott claims Jack Steven was the “victim of something serious” but expects the midfielder back at the AFL club within days.
The Cats’ off-season recruit was discharged from hospital on Tuesday, having been admitted with a stab wound over the weekend.
Details are still unclear as to how the 30-year-old ended up with the injury and a police investigation is ongoing.
Scott addressed the situation at Geelong training on Thursday, but the club is none the wiser on what actually happened.
“I think it’s wrong that some people have jumped the gun and said that this is an AFL integrity matter and somehow Jack has a case to answer before he plays footy again – that’s assuming the worst in people,” he told reporters.
“We’d like to know the circumstances only so we can help him, so he can help us; those things go together.
“It’s clear he was the victim of something quite serious that required hospitalisation but I think the priority should be his wellbeing.
“We’re trying to protect his privacy as much as possible as well. We want to care for him and help as much as we possibly can.”
Scott is unsure when Steven will rejoin Cats training ahead of the AFL season resumption on June 11, but believes it’s “more like days than weeks”.
Steven came close to AFL retirement last year as he dealt with mental health issues, playing just seven games in 2019.
At the end of last season, he was granted his wish to be traded to Geelong, following four best-and-fairest awards in 11 seasons with St Kilda.