RICHMOND will be sweating on the fitness on a host of key players ahead of the crucial clash against the in-form Crows at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.
The injury-depleted Tigers have lost their last two matches by a combined margin of 104 points and are in danger of slipping out of contention for a top-four finish if they can't reverse that trend when they take on Don Pyke's side in Adelaide.
All eyes will be on whether 2017 Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin can shake off the "massive corkie" he picked up against the Cats, but Richmond coach Damien Hardwick expects his star midfielder to be available to take on the Crows.
"He (Martin) finished off the game. He'll look after himself and get it right, so we'd assume he'll play next week," Hardwick said following his side's loss to Geelong.
Hard runner Brandon Ellis (groin), important defender David Astbury (hamstring) and key midfielder Kane Lambert (Achilles) will need to do everything right if they are to be considered for the trip to the City of Churches, but underrated backman Nick Vlastuin (hip) is likely to recover in time.
The Crows have no fresh injury concerns, although they are likely to once again be without the services of veteran Tom Lynch as they seek to win a third game on the trot against the Tigers.
Tom Lynch appears set for another week on the sidelines after hurting his calf. Picture: AFL Photos
Lynch hurt his calf during the warm-up of Saturday night's contest against the Giants and is likely to be given further time to recover given the Crows have the bye after Thursday's match.
"Apart from Tom, it looks like we've pulled up pretty well," Pyke said following his side's victory over the Giants.
"It'll now just be a matter of getting our recovery right and we'll be set for Thursday night."
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The Giants have their own injury concerns ahead of their game against the in-form Kangaroos in Hobart, with fitness queries surrounding forward Toby Greene (knee) and running defender Nick Haynes (ankle).
Greene was a late withdrawal from the Giants' side that lost to the Crows and coach Leon Cameron is hopeful the star forward will be passed fit for the trip to the Apple Isle.
"He (Greene) has to get through training next week for him to play. We think that's going to happen," Cameron said.
Giants star Toby Greene was a late withdrawal against the Crows. Picture: AFL Photos
Haynes will be assessed during the week after he hurt his ankle during the second quarter against the Crows, while the Kangaroos will need to find a replacement for star midfielder Shaun Higgins.
Higgins injured his shoulder when on the receiving end of a hard tackle from Suns enforcer Touk Miller and is likely to require a stint on the sidelines.
In other injury news:
- The Suns may have to find a replacement for Jordan Murdoch for their match against the Saints in Townsville, after the rebounding defender hurt his ankle in the third term of the loss to the Kangaroos. Big man Chris Burgess (leg) returned to the ground after he picked up a knock in the second quarter, while midfielder Jack Martin was reported for an incident that saw Jack Ziebell leave the ground for a concussion test.
- The Cats have the week off, but all eyes will be on Esava Ratugolea after the key forward injured his hamstring against the Tigers on Friday night.
- Charlie Cameron (ankle) and Dayne Zorko (hip) were hurt during the Lions' loss to the Blues on Saturday, but the duo played out the game and should be fit for their next clash against the Saints in a fortnight.
- The Swans lost a trio of players during their impressive victory over the Eagles on Sunday, with Jarrad McVeigh (hamstring), Jackson Thurlow (head knock) and Colin O'Riordan (concussion) all failing to see out the contest.