Yarran could miss first third of 2016

Richmond recruit Chris Yarran won’t be lining up for the Tigers in round one, and could be waiting as long as round eight to make his debut in the yellow and black.

A lack of fitness due to a troublesome calf means Yarran will miss the season-opener against former club Carlton.

Twice the line-breaking half-back has injured his calf in training for the season ahead.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said Yarran could miss the first third of Richmond’s season but neither he or Yarran were deterred by the setbacks.

“He’s had a couple of calf injuries we would have liked obviously if they weren’t there … he’s been limited in his preparation,” Hardwick said on Wednesday.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time.

“We’re very excited about what he’s going to bring. But it’s not going to be in the short-term.

“We probably look forward to him in the second third of the year.

“There’s a lot of football to be played in season 2016 so he’s probably not going to be ready for the start but he’ll be there when the whips are cracking.”

Yarran spent some time kicking a football at Wednesday morning’s training session but was largely confined to laps of Punt Road Oval.

The Tigers face AFL opposition for the first time this year when they play Fremantle in their opening NAB Challenge match on Friday.

Like several AFL coaches before him, Hardwick will hand over the reigns to an assistant, Brendon Lade, for the match.

The signs at Tigerland are that the club will seriously ramp up its NAB Challenge after facing Hawthorn, returning Hardwick to the box for its final clash, against Port Adelaide.

Richmond also announced it had joined a growing list of AFL clubs to sign the responsible gambling charter, committing to not making commercial deals with betting agencies or promote gambling to teenagers.

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