Richmond admit they are unsure whether star utility Brett Deledio will be available for round two in the AFL as he recovers from another leg injury.
The Tigers have ruled out the two-time All Australian for Thursday’s blockbuster season opener against Carlton because of a tight quad muscle.
He has undergone a scan, which football manager Dan Richardson said on Monday has not shown anything.
Richardson said it remains to be seen whether Deledio will be ready for their round-two game against Collingwood.
“It would mean we just have to reassess next week,” Richardson said of the scan result.
“We’d expect him to be available, but these things can change, as well as we’ve seen even over the last few days.”
Richardson added there was no specific incident that caused the injury.
He said Deledio pulled up sore from their NAB Challenge match against Port Adelaide and had not recovered sufficiently.
Deledio admitted he probably should not have played in last year’s round-one game against the Blues.
He aggravated a calf muscle injury in the match and was out of action for the next four games.
This time, the Tigers are taking no chances.
“Lids will be unlikely to play this week – he’s had some tightness in his quad over the last few days,” Richardson said.
“Hence you saw yesterday, he was on a restricted program.
“At this stage, we don’t think he’ll be any better tomorrow, so we won’t take the risk.”
Richardson doubts it will be an ongoing issue.
“I wouldn’t think it will be too big a deal during the course of the year … we’d expect him to be fine,” he said.
Richmond will start strong favourites against the resetting Blues, but they have a tough draw through to their round-10 match against Essendon.
Deledio’s importance to the Tigers was emphasised in the first few weeks of last season.
The Tigers lost four of their next five games after beating Carlton, with Deledio sidelined for four of them.
He was outstanding for the rest of the season, finishing with 27 goals, earning his second All-Australian selection and taking third in the club best and fairest voting.
Richmond won 13 out of 16 matches to make the top eight, only to lose their third-straight elimination final.
Given what happened around this time a year ago, there was no way Richmond were going to risk Deledio for round one.
Separate leg injuries had meant Deledio only played against Port Adelaide in the pre-season game and he needed a smooth run to ensure he would play against the Blues.
The Tigers already have lost Reece Conca for 10 weeks with a severe hamstring injury.
Carlton recruit Chris Yarran needs foot surgery and is out of action for six weeks.
Meanwhile, Richardson said Shane Edwards could recover from his shoulder injury in time to play against Carlton.
Shaun Grigg remains unlikely as he recovers from thumb surgery.