RICHMOND has suffered a hefty blow on the eve of the 2016 season, with gun recruit Chris Yarran set to be sidelined for six weeks due to a foot injury.
Yarran, who had been racing to be fit for the season-opener against his former club Carlton, will be sent for surgery to fix plantar fascia tissue in his left foot.
"Chris has worked extremely hard on his fitness over the pre-season," Tigers general manager of football Dan Richardson said.
"While this is a setback following a solid block of training over the past month in particular, the positive is that the surgery has a high success rate, and we look forward to Chris playing his best football for us once he fully recovers.
"At this stage, we expect this to be a six-week injury, but we'll await further medical advice post-surgery."
The injury is a frustrating setback for the 25-year-old, who has been managing plantar fascia issues in recent seasons and was also working his way back from a nagging calf problem.
Yarran had been making a late bid to run out against the Blues in the season opener at the MCG next week.
He played 45 minutes in an intra-club match at Punt Road last Thursday and had eight touches before completing extra training after the hit out.
Foot surgery is likely to rule him out of action until at least round six, when the Tigers take on Port Adelaide at the MCG.
Yarran's elite skills and pace running off half-back have been tipped to be a major asset for the Tigers after they coughed up pick 19 for the speedster in last year's NAB AFL Trade Period.
He played 119 games and booted 90 goals for the Blues before off-field issues and indifferent form prompted him to look for a fresh start to continue his AFL career.