Brett Deledio has surged into calculations for a surprise early return to the Tigers team for the critical match against Melbourne.
Richmond could have three of their best eight players back with Ivan Maric and Anthony Miles both certain and potentially now also joined by Deledio.
Maric played 75 per cent of the VFL match last week. Shaun Hampson suffered a cork and is unlikely to be fit but would most likely make way for Maric in any event.
Miles, fourth in the Tigers best and fairest last year, found form in the VFL last week after being poor in the opening three games.
The biggest inclusion, however, would be Deledio who on Tuesday joined in full training for the first time since his injury. Deledio had been able to do a lot of running in training but had avoided ball work. On Tuesday he was able to do everything.
Presuming he gets through the next main session on Thursday the Tigers will have to decide what level of risk there would be in bringing him back into the team after a limited amount of full training as opposed to the obvious benefit he would bring.
There would be little benefit in him playing in the VFL as the club would consider if he is fit enough to play a game of football then he should play in the senior team.
“A decision is yet to be made on Brett yet but he trained well on Tuesday and we will assess him later in the week after training and the match committee will make a decision on that then,” football manager Dan Richardson said.
Defender David Astbury is also a chance to recover in time from an ankle injury to be able to play against the Demons.
Astbury injured an ankle but recovered quicker than initially expected but with a nine-day break to the game on Sunday night after playing West Coast in Perth last Friday night the key defender is a better chance to play than first thought.
Defender Jake Batchelor, like Miles, had battled for form this year after playing 23 games last year and being a mainstay of the Tigers side. He has reportedly performed better in the last two VFL games and appeared to be close to a return to form.
The Tigers will be keen to reintroduce their talented trio of Deledio, Maric and Miles after the listless start to the season, which culminated in last week’s humbling in Perth by the Eagles.
They confront a Melbourne side on Sunday night still riding the wave of excitement from the impressive win over the Magpies a week earlier.
Melbourne will be confronting Richmond and the weight of history, which reminds them that they have not won consecutive games of football in five years.
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