RICHMOND defender David Astbury will undergo minor thumb surgery after suffering ligament damage during last Friday's NAB Challenge clash against Fremantle.
Astbury, who has been one of the Tigers' standout performers this pre-season, suffered the injury in a contest with Matthew Pavlich when he went to ground.
He will be sidelined at least for Saturday's clash Hawthorn, but the club is hopeful he will return shortly, likely before the Tigers' round one clash against Carlton on March 24.
"He had some ligament damage and will need minor surgery," physical performance manager Peter Burge told the club's website.
"He’ll definitely miss this weekend, but he should be back pretty soon.”
Astbury, who struggled for form and played just four games last season, has emerged as the club's best option to support Alex Rance in the key defensive posts this pre-season.
As a result, veteran defender Troy Chaplin has been trialed in the forward line.
Meanwhile, tall forwards Ty Vickery and Ben Griffiths will have concussion tests this week following head knocks against Fremantle.
Burge said both would have to pass stringent tests be selected against the Hawks this week.
"(Both) will go through the process with the club doctor and have a concussion test later in the week," Burge said.
"We take a strong approach to that (concussion), and we have to go through a few hoops before we could consider him to play."