Nathan Brown has warned Mitch Wallis, who broke both bones in his leg during Western Bulldogs' AFL loss on Saturday night, to not rush his recovery.
Wallis fractured his tibia and fibula in a sickening moment at Etihad Stadium, where he accidentally kicked his left leg while being tackled by Shane Savage.
Brown broke the same two bones while playing for Richmond in round 10 of the 2005 season.
He returned in round one of the following season but "came back too early".
"The only thing I'd say to Mitch Wallis is you're a young kid, you've got a lot of time. Don't try and rush it," Brown told the Nine Network on Sunday.
"Everybody told me not to rush it. I did and I was probably never the same player."
Many of Wallis' teammates were crying in their changeroom on Saturday, when the 23-year-old screamed in agony as he was taken to hospital.
Brown backed Wallis to return to his best.
"He's a tough kid. He comes from a good family and I think he'll be right," he said.
But the two-time All Australian added there would be some long and very frustrating nights ahead.
"Hospital is the easy part .. when you get home that's the real hard part," Brown said.
"Because you can't move your leg ... you can't put it down anywhere. You can't lift it up.
"So you're in bed for probably the next two weeks. I remember every night for probably two or three weeks, just sweating profusely during he night because of the painkillers.
"You just lay there in a wet bed."
Brown recalled the initial feeling was "unbelievable pain, you think the world is going to end".
"Then it just subsides for a little bit .. and it's almost like shock takes over your body," he said.
Brown, who played 137 of his 219 games with the Bulldogs, planned on reaching out to Wallis when the time was right.
"He's got bigger thing to worry about (than football) at the moment," he said.
"But if he needs any support or any advice - he's (also) got Jake Stringer, who has done exactly the same thing, and Dale Morris."