Jayden Short celebrates a goal during the R3 match between Richmond and Sydney at the MCG on March 31, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

JAYDEN Short's impending return from a calf injury will give decimated Richmond a timely lift ahead of facing Fremantle, says coach Adem Yze.

The Tigers have had a horror run with injury, with midfielder Jack Graham (hamstring) their latest forced change. 

But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Short just had to complete Friday's session to be cleared to face the Dockers at the MCG on Sunday, while Dion Prestia (hamstring) and Noah Balta (knee) should return in a week.

"We knew it was just a small little nick in his calf," Yze said. 

"There was a possibility that he could have got up or even played last week, so we went with no-risk – he's too important. We took the week. 

Jayden Short in action during Richmond's clash against Gold Coast in Opening Round, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"He's had a great week on the track and hopefully gets through today and he'll play.

"He's a spirit-lifter for our footy club and our team. So to have a leader, he's a vice-captain, a terrific half-back, to be back in our side – we really missed him last week. 

"We love his drive off half-back. So to get some good news around the injury front is good for not only us as a club, but our team. 

"Our players love playing with him. So we can't wait to get going."


Yze's press conference was the morning after Port Adelaide captain Connor Rozee played off hamstring tightness, only to re-injure himself on Thursday night.

He noted the Power would have been "kicking themselves" over that call.

Richmond hopes Graham will miss just a week.

"If this was a final, there's a chance that he could play but he's just too important," Yze said.

"To go and risk one of our key leaders and a really important player in our footy club and in our team, to go and risk him this week and the chance of him hurting it again and going out for a month would just be crazy, irrelevant of how many guys we've got injured at the moment."

Jack Graham in action during Richmond's clash against Melbourne in round seven, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The Tigers are putting Prestia through an extensive training block while Balta pushed for selection this week, but Richmond took a "no-risk" approach with both.

"To have those guys close to selection, hopefully being available next week, is exciting," he said.

Yze noted the Tigers couldn't help some of their injuries, while small soft-tissue injuries made the situation look worse.

"The majority of our injuries have just been unlucky and ... it's a no-risk policy," he said.

"So yeah, little one-week injuries here and there are going to make it look worse. 

"But ... we're going to support our players and make sure their welfare is the most important thing."