RICHMOND has been dealt a double injury blow on the eve of the finals, with Ivan Soldo facing a year on the sidelines with a knee injury and Tom Lynch suffering a hamstring strain.
Soldo limped off the field moments before half-time in the Tigers' strong win over Geelong on Friday night after hurting his left knee in a marking collision.
>> WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
He didn't reappear for the night and scans on Saturday confirmed he ruptured both his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial ligament.
The injury leaves him eyeing a 12-month stint out of the game after rising to become one of the leading ruckmen in the competition.
TIGERS TOO GOOD Full match coverage and stats
"Soldo we think has got a significant knee injury, we'll wait to confirm that via scans which is disappointing. He's been such an important player for us over the course of this year and last," coach Damien Hardwick said post-game.
"Tom's got a hamstring, we're not quite sure of the severity of that at the moment, he'll probably have scans on that on Monday also.
"They're two big losses but we think we've got some players who can step up and fill the void. It provides opportunity [to] some guys back at our hub."
Lynch's setback is less serious but does leave him in doubt for Richmond's first final, which is set to be a qualifying final after the Tigers' 26-point win over the Cats.
It leaves the Tigers with the task of beating the 18th-placed Crows in round 18 to confirm their top-four spot, but Lynch could miss their first finals game with the finals expected to start 19 days from Friday.
It is unclear at this stage when Richmond's first final would be staged in that run of games.
It was the only low point of a dominant performance for the Tigers, who kept Geelong to only one goal until three-quarter time and ended the Cats' run of six straight wins.
Geelong coach Chris Scott said the Cats' plan broke down against the Tigers and that there needed to be tweaks if they met again in the finals.
"Early on they were really sharp and they looked better than us. The question is 'Are they better than us in different circumstances?' Based on that performance you'd say 'Yeah, they'd be raging favourites'," he said.
"So the challenge for us is to adjust a few things, learn what we can out of the game, still be clear on what's made us a pretty good team over this period of time, but clearly we need to get better."
That boost could come soon, with Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett expected to return for the Cats' final game of the home and away season next Sunday against Sydney.
"As of today I would expect them both to play but there's nine days until our next game," he said.