MORE communication between the AFL and VFL would help clubs field their best team for finals, Richmond football manager Neil Balme says.

The Tigers' reserves played on Saturday night at Punt Road while the senior side takes to the field just five days later, on Thursday at the MCG, against Hawthorn for a qualifying final.

Having so little time between games meant small forward Sam Lloyd and defender Ryan Garthwaite didn't take part in the VFL clash, which the Tigers lost to Williamstown.

"We thought they were very much the next players in line in the chop-up. For them to play two games in five days in a serious final is probably pretty hard to do," Balme told Channel Seven on Saturday.

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"I just wish the AFL and the VFL would talk to each other. It might make it a bit easier for us."

Dan Butler seems unlikely to earn a recall after returning from ankle syndesmosis surgery in his first hit-out since Richmond's round 16 victory over Adelaide.

He picked up just three disposals and slotted a goal, but emerged unscathed.

Oleg Markov also came back from a knee issue.

"The draw's pretty tough for them. We've got to play on Thursday, after a Saturday game, which makes it pretty tough," Balme said.

"Dan was good. He hasn't played for a fair while. I thought he was OK, particularly early. We'll see what happens."

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia All Australian squad member Kane Lambert is set to face the Hawks.

"We're pretty happy with the way he's gone. He's only missed a couple of games so he didn't really need to play one. I'd be surprised if he doesn't get up," Balme said.

Lambert, 26, missed the final two matches of the home and away season.