RICHMOND ruckman Ivan Maric could be set for ankle surgery with the Tigers weighing up how to handle the injury that has dogged his pre-season.

And the club’s No.1 draft selection from last year, Ben Lennon, will be on the sidelines for at least the next month after tearing his knee cartilage during the week. 

Maric, after having groin surgery at the end of last season, has been on a modified program for much of the summer.


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He missed last Friday night's NAB Challenge loss to Melbourne and then Saturday's win over Collingwood in Wangaratta.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick revealed after the 48-point win over the Magpies that Maric could need an operation if the ankle didn't progress.

"We just don't know at this stage. It's just one of those things; he might go in and it might be a small clean up, we're not too sure," Hardwick said. 

"We've got to assess how he goes. He's probably in the hands of the doctor at the moment. 

"It's been a bit of a drawn out process so at some stage we've probably got to make a decision on which way we go.

"We've just got to see how it pulls up over the coming weeks."

While Jack Riewoldt is rated a "certainty" to return from quad soreness on March 7 against Essendon in a practice match at Punt Road, the news isn't as good for Lennon.

Richmond football manager Dan Richardson confirmed to that Lennon was likely to undergo surgery at the start of next week on the damaged knee cartilage.

He is expected to miss at least a month. 

Meanwhile, defender Jake Batchelor looked to have escaped serious damage to the left leg he injured late in the second half against the Pies, with the initial diagnosis a corked calf.

The Tigers were far better than they were against the Demons, with seven last-quarter goals rolling a Magpie outfit that benefited from eight majors courtesy of the Ben Reid and Travis Cloke combination.

Hardwick said while he was pleased that his players’ endeavour and attitude was better than it was last week, he was realistic about the time of year.

"We also have to understand it's pre-season. We're trialling a few things as are Collingwood at various stages as well," he said.

"It's probably a shorter ground too so it was a little easier to get that ball deeper inside 50 at various stages.

"From a ball winning perspective and the ability to use the ball, I thought we were pretty good."

He praised the performance of David Astbury against Reid and Cloke, mentioned Ben Griffiths took another step forward and was pleased with Matt McDonough and Nick Vlastuin.

The coach also said the Tigers had made sure Jake King – who has come under scrutiny recently for his friendship with bikie figure Toby Mitchell – was mentally prepared to play his first game for the year.

"He's fine. As far as we were concerned, that issue had been addressed from our point of view. Jake knows where we stand with that so he's fine," he said.

"We just had to make sure he was in a good space to play.

"He's a pretty resilient character young Jake … he's not that young anymore, or tall, but he's fine."

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Twitter: @AFL_JenPhelan