Premiership Tigers Battle To Play In Round 1 Of The AFL
Richmond premiership player Dion Prestia is highly unlikely to play in the AFL season-opener and the Tigers will err on the side of caution with Bachar Houli.
Prestia had ankle surgery shortly after Richmond's grand final triumph over Adelaide then suffered a hamstring strain that ruled him out of the pre-season series.
Houli reported some calf tightness after Richmond's first pre-season series match and has been carefully monitored since.
Both have been battling to take their place in Thursday night's clash against Carlton at the MCG for some weeks.
"Dion at this stage probably won't play," coach Damien Hardwick told Fox Footy on Monday night.
"With Bachar, we've got a couple of sessions left to see how he goes.
"Those guys are really important players and every coach wants their best side available for round one but it's such a marathon these days."
From the Tigers' grand final side, Daniel Rioli (ankle) and Nathan Broad (club suspension) are definitely out.
Rioli celebrated the Tigers' 48-point grand final win over Adelaide on crutches, but is making steady progress.
"He's running now and he's running with some intensity," Hardwick said.
"So he's probably not too far away, which is exciting for us and exciting for our fans."
Shaun Hampson (back) and Nathan Drummond (knee) are the only other players on the club's injury list.