RICHMOND will hold back skipper Trent Cotchin from Sunday's mouth-watering clash with West Coast, allowing the Tigers captain more time to recover from his hamstring issue.
Cotchin hurt his hamstring in the Tigers' round 19 defeat of Collingwood and club medicos have opted for a cautious approach to his return ahead of their finals campaign.
"After discussions with our medical staff, we felt that giving Trent an extra week to train and prepare for his return to playing is the best approach," said club football boss Neil Balme.
Richmond is preparing for its on-field leader to return in the round 23 clash with Brisbane.
Dustin Martin, who missed last weekend's slugfest with Carlton with 'soreness', is likely to return to face the Eagles.
First-year draftee Jack Ross is also in the frame to continue after 13 weeks out from ankle surgery.
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Without Cotchin running out for the Tigers in their round 22 match - a possible Grand Final preview against the reigning premiers - the Eagles will like their chances at the MCG.
West Coast has won seven of its past eight matches, with the sole blip a one-point loss at home to Collingwood last month.
They've also not lost a match at the MCG, or in Melbourne, for two years.
Their early Sunday afternoon match, pitching the fourth-placed Tigers against the third-placed Eagles, will be crucial to Richmond's top four hopes.
Should the Tigers lose to Adam Simpson's side, they stand to be jumped on the table by the fifth-placed Magpies, who play Adelaide on Saturday night.
They will also drop out of contention for the minor premiership, which hinges on the top-of-the-table Brisbane v Geelong match earlier on Saturday.