St Kilda could leave it until the last possible moment before deciding whether skipper Nick Riewoldt has recovered well enough from a calf injury to play in Sunday’s AFL match against Richmond honouring his late sister.
Riewoldt, 32, is in serious doubt for the game after straining his calf during last weekend’s loss to the GWS Giants in Sydney.
Riewoldt is understandably desperate to play in the Etihad Stadium clash against a Richmond side featuring his cousin Jack which will double as the major fundraiser for the newly-formed Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, created in honour of the 26-year-old who died of aplastic anaemia in February.
But he won’t undergo any alternative medical treatment.
“Anything that is available, you would do any given week anyway,” Nick Riewoldt said on Wednesday.
“We’ll treat it as best as we can, as professionally as we can.”
Riewoldt described himself a “big chance” to play and will test the calf at training on Thursday.
He said it was up to the club to decide how late to leave it, not ruling out a decision hours out from the game.
Despite the emotional lead-up, Nick Riewoldt said taking the field had helped him in earlier tough moments this year.
“The two hours on game-day is almost a bit of an outlet,” he said.
“To do something positive with our grief for our family has been really helpful.
“If we can help other families not have to go through what Maddie and our extended family went through, that’ll be a great result.”
Jack Riewoldt was hopeful that his older cousin would prove his fitness and line up for the improving Saints against the fifth-placed Tigers.
“It’d be fantastic for the Saints for starters but also for the Vision, and the effort we’ve put in, I would love to see him out there,” Jack Riewoldt said.
“St Kilda has a few really good young kids coming in and have revitalised their older group into playing some great footy too.
Five dollars from each match ticket will be donated to the charity and the Riewoldt family is encouraging fans to wear purple, Maddie’s favourite colour.