Why Tigers standout player expressed remorse over his frustrated response to being substituted due to injury.

Jacob Hopper, displaying frustration, disclosed the severity of his hamstring injury sustained during Richmond’s defeat to Melbourne on Anzac eve, while also acknowledging his apology for his outburst from the bench.

Returning for his first game since round one following a knee injury, Hopper felt discomfort while pursuing Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver at the MCG. Despite this, he persisted for a few minutes before ultimately being substituted out in the third quarter.

Upon being escorted to the bench by team medical staff, Hopper was observed venting his frustration by kicking a drink bottle. This incident attracted attention to the Tigers’ sideline, despite Hopper’s notable performance with a game-high 23 disposals.

Presently, Hopper has expressed regret for his behavior, clarifying that he was overwhelmed with frustration in the moment following the injury, causing a lapse in judgment.

“Obviously, I was upset that it happened. Dealing with another injury was just aggravating,” Hopper remarked at Punt Road on Thursday.

“I hope I don’t repeat the bottle-kicking incident, as I regretted it immediately afterward, realizing someone could have been harmed,” he added.

The midfielder acknowledged spending a significant portion of Thursday apologizing for his actions on the sideline.

“I’ve been trying to make amends with everyone on the bench, but it was quite exasperating at the time,” he noted.

Hopper conceded that he was eager to continue playing as he felt Richmond was “well and truly in the game” during the third quarter but ultimately decided to withdraw from the remainder of the match to prevent further harm.

“I think I was somewhat in denial at that moment (when I continued playing)… considering we were still competitive. However, I later recognized it probably wasn’t the wisest choice,” he reflected.

Following the game, coach Adem Yze shared an unconventional explanation during his post-match press conference regarding Hopper’s injury.

“It’s possibly one of his initial matches playing with knee tape, so initially, we speculated it might be related to the tape, whether it was too tight or causing discomfort,” Yze stated after the game.

“Given his lack of prior hamstring injuries, he attempted to continue playing through it to see if it would alleviate,” Yze continued. “I believe the presence of the taped knee contributed to his discomfort.”

Hopper has participated in only 19 games since joining the Tigers from GWS at the beginning of 2023.

Richmond now shifts their focus to their crucial match against Fremantle next Sunday.


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