Coleman medal hope Tom Lynch has escaped a serious hamstring injury but Richmond teammate Kane Lambert has succumbed to an ongoing hip issue and is looking at an extended time on the sidelines.
Lynch, who surrendered his lead in the AFL goalkicking race to Carlton’s Charlie Curnow last weekend, was forced to sit out the final quarter of Saturday’s win over Essendon at the MCG after suffering a second hamstring injury for the season.
But scans have revealed the issue isn’t too serious and while he will miss Friday’s clash with Sydney the fact the Tigers then have the bye before the next clash with Port Adelaide means he’ll be ready to go.
“Tom had scans on Sunday that showed a mild strain in his lower hamstring area. It‘s in a similar spot to the issue he had in the pre-season, it’s not in the same spot, but given it’s in close proximity we need to take a bit of extra care,” Richmond high performance boss Peter Burge said.
“It’s actually pulled up really well, he’s running today (Monday) and we feel like it’s going to turn around pretty quickly… He’ll get moving pretty quickly this week and I anticipate he’ll be doing a fair bit next week.
“He’s obviously not playing this week, but post-bye we’ll have to make the decision as to how quickly we return, if we give him an extra week or how that plays out. But we’re certainly doing a fair bit of investigation and looking at his program.
“But it’s not going to be a long injury, it’s just how we calculate the time-frame and when he’s safe to return so that he stays returned and we don’t have another problem.”
But Lambert, who was subbed out of the match against the Bombers with a sore hip, has not fared as well.
Playing his fourth game after returning from the hip problem that threatened to end his season, Lambert was “struggling” during the game and his prognosis is not as clear as his teammate’s.
“Kane‘s hip is really sore. He’s played four games in a row now and with his long-term hip issue, we kind of expected we would have a situation where he would have to miss games,” Burge said.
“He did unbelievably well to play four in a row. We didn’t expect it to be as sore on (Saturday) night (because) he trained last Thursday and was feeling quite good, but it’s a little bit unpredictable.
“But Kane himself flagged that he was struggling and it was getting sorer. So, really now it’s a situation where he needs a little bit more recovery time for that hip to settle over the bye, and I would anticipate that he’d be back training again leading into the Port Adelaide game.
“So, we’ll assess as we go as we usually do, and we will then look at how many games optimally he could play in a row. The longer breaks certainly help, the eight or nine-day breaks, and the six-day breaks make it tougher for him. So, it’s a little bit disappointing for Kane that he didn’t complete the game but we’ll reload and we’ll go again.”
Richmond cemented their spot in the top eight with the comfortable win over Essendon and face Sydney on Friday night at the SCG before having a bye in Round 12.