Toby Nankervis and Dustin Martin celebrate a goal with teammates during Richmond's clash with Carlton in round one, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

TOM LYNCH, Dustin Martin and captain Toby Nankervis loom as massive Richmond inclusions for Thursday night's blockbuster against Carlton at the MCG.

Lynch, the Tigers' 2022 best and fairest winner, has been sidelined since round four last season because of a foot injury.

Martin (calf) and Nankervis (foot) also missed their season-opening loss to Gold Coast last Saturday.

Young forward Rhyan Mansell (ankle) is another potential inclusion for the traditional round one clash, which could attract 90,000 fans.

"I'm hoping they (Lynch, Martin and Nankervis) are coming back – they looked pretty good," vice-captain Jayden Short said after Tuesday morning's training.

"I'm hoping all three get up and also Rhyan Mansell, he had an awesome pre-season.

"I'm always pumping to get blokes back from rehab and I'm hoping Lynchy gets himself back, but I don't want to put the pressure on him – he's been a long time out of the game."

Tom Lynch at Richmond training on January 17, 2024. Picture: Richmond FC

Lynch's absence cruelled Richmond last season and he will give their attack a major boost once he returns.

"When he did it, he told us he was only going to miss a week," Short said of Lynch's injury.

"To see the way he showed up the club, every single day in rehab, it's been amazing and his attitude towards his rehab has been sensational.

"If he does get himself up it's going to be amazing, not just for us but for him as well."

Richmond will only have a five-day break, but Short said they prefer the short turnaround given their poor start against the Suns.

Gold Coast exposed the Tigers' contested work in the first half last Saturday and coach Adem Yze focused on that in their post-game review. 


"That's just what footy is ... you have to get yourself up and it's been a little bit about recovery this week," Short said.

"Obviously our contest work to start the game, for the first two quarters, was pretty down.

"We reviewed that pretty much the next day and had some pretty honest conversations around that.

"We can expect a lot better this week – the boys really want to get to work and they are embarrassed about how we started.

"It's certainly something we want to rectify ... the boys are rapt that we only have five days to get ourselves back out there."

During Richmond's 2017-20 premiership three-peat, they owned Carlton in their round-one MCG clashes.

But now the Blues are the dominant team after making last year's preliminary final and starting the season with a rousing comeback win over the Brisbane Lions.

"They're an amazing team and they're definitely going to bring the pressure," Short said.

"They're going to bring the heat and we have to match it with them."