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Deledio anoints Ellis to fill Tigers' backline void

Day of bad news and sad news Matt Thompson with Tuesday Footy Feed
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Corey Ellis of the Tigers in action during the 2016 AFL Round 06 match between the Richmond Tigers and Port Adelaide Power at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne on April 30, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Corey Ellis looks likely to fill in for the injured Bachar Houli in defence for Richmond
We fully understand where we sit at the moment
Brett Deledio

RICHMOND will put its faith in emerging youngster Corey Ellis to fill the void left by injured half-back Bachar Houli, who is set to miss the next two months with a fractured wrist. 

The Tigers confirmed on Tuesday that Houli would miss between eight and 10 weeks, but there are hopes he could recover in as soon as six weeks after surgery on Monday afternoon. 

Ellis, a first-round midfielder when drafted at the end of 2014, was stationed across half-back for the Tigers' drought-breaking win against the Sydney Swans and looks set to continue in the role.     

"I think he's playing some pretty handy footy at the moment and growing with every game he plays," vice-captain Brett Deledio said on Tuesday. 

"'Bach' is a wonderful player and we'll welcome him back when he's ready, but we're covering him OK at the moment.

Family first for Tigers Rioli and Yarran

"From all reports [his surgery] went well, and we've been told anywhere from six to eight weeks, but hopefully he's back sooner than that." 

Houli had a screw inserted into his injured scaphoid, the bone between the thumb and forearm, on Monday.

Midfielder Kamdyn McIntosh also underwent surgery on Monday to repair his injured ankle and is expected to miss three months.

McIntosh suffered a syndesmosis sprain of his right ankle during training last Thursday and has been placed on the long-term injury list. 

The Tigers are all but certain to be bolstered by the return of captain Trent Cotchin for Saturday night's clash against Fremantle at Domain Stadium, with the skipper training in a helmet on Tuesday. 

Deledio said the Tigers were wary of the "well-coached" Dockers, given their winless start to the season and the need for Ross Lyon’s team to get the monkey off their back.  

He said the Tigers' ability to break through after six straight losses had been a great reward for hard work. 

"It's always nice to have a win, but we fully understand where we sit at the moment," he said.  

"We've been working pretty hard the last few weeks and the wheel is slowly starting to turn.

"We've got a lot of work to do and our focus is primarily on Fremantle this weekend."