RICHMOND vice-captain Brett Deledio is being carefully managed by the Tigers' fitness staff after developing soreness in his problematic Achilles tendon. 
Wary of how much the 27-year-old was affected by the persistent injury when it flared in the early rounds of last season, the Tigers are taking no chances this summer.
Deledio was kept back from this week's community camp visit to East Gippsland, along with captain Trent Cotchin, midfielder Dustin Martin and others dealing with minor ailments.
Cotchin and Martin are managing hamstring soreness and on a specific strength program designed to speed up their recovery.
Deledio was sidelined between rounds three and six last year with the Achilles problem but has admitted he didn't get his speed back until around the round 12 mark.
He was then able to go on and be instrumental in the Tigers' revival, playing a key role forward where he kicked 20 goals for the year.
He's carried the Achilles issue for at least two years and is no stranger to managing it during the summer months.
The Tigers will play their first NAB Challenge match on February 28 against the Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval.
Coach Damien Hardwick has already said the Tigers would take in a young squad – likely under 23 – for their first game, and bring in the older players later in the series.
Reece Conca (knee), Corey Ellis (foot) and Ben Lennon (hip) are likely to be unavailable for at least the first hit-out.
They're not expecting the hiccups to Deledio, Martin and Cotchin's programs to hinder their preparation for the pre-season competition or round one, which is on April 2 for the Tigers.
"While we understand the importance of engaging with our fans in regional communities, the decision to leave a number of players out of our community camp was made with player welfare and preparation for the season ahead at the forefront of our minds," football manager Dan Richardson told the club's website.