RICHMOND is preparing to be without two key players for the foreseeable future after midfielder Dion Prestia and key forward Jack Riewoldt suffered injuries in Thursday night's 25-point loss to Carlton at the MCG.
Triple Coleman Medal winner Riewoldt has a suspected broken thumb following an incident early in the game that required treatment.
The 33-year-old went into the rooms and returned to play out the game but was clearly hampered by the injury and struggled to make a significant impact on the result, finishing with a goal from six disposals and two marks.
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Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said the veteran spearhead could require surgery and miss some football.
"I think Jack might have fractured his thumb," Hardwick said in his post-match press conference on Thursday night.
"He'll have scans to confirm it that’s why he went off early and probably struggled to hold the ball a little bit tonight. We'll get more details out when we find out possibly tomorrow."
After managing only nine games in each of the past two seasons due to persistent injuries, including repeated hamstring concerns, Prestia was subbed out of the game early in the second quarter due to another hamstring injury.
The 29-year-old had been one of Richmond's most impressive performers over the pre-season and looked set to return to his best in 2022.
Prestia dominated the opening quarter alongside Dustin Martin, amassing 10 disposals and 198 metres gained before his season was put on hold again.
Hardwick said Prestia was devastated by another setback and will undergo scans on Friday to determine the severity.
"It's just disappointing; he's had as good a pre-season as he's had. He is so important to the way we play. I feel like he's barely played for two and a half years," he said.
"To get 10 touches in the first quarter and lo and behold we're up and going and then he goes out. He is a significant loss. I just really feel for the kid. He is so important to the way we play and the culture of the place as well.
"He was really disappointed and I'm disappointed for him. We want to see him on the field and up and about. It’s a challenging stage for him."
Meanwhile, new Carlton coach Michael Voss said the thrilling victory over the Tigers in his first game as a senior coach since 2013 was a "signature win" for the club.
The Blues ended an 11-game losing streak against Richmond by winning a season-opener against the Tigers for the first time since 2012, after kicking the final seven goals of the game to run over the top in an emphatic start to a new era at Ikon Park.
Carlton smashed Richmond around the ball, on the back of the new combination of captain Patrick Cripps, new recruits Adam Cerra and George Hewett, plus Matthew Kennedy helping the Blues win 18 more clearances, 21 more contested possessions and 24 more inside 50s.
"It's a great win for the club. We were confident with the pre-season that we rolled out. We have been growing some confidence. I think the Melbourne win last week was something the players really enjoyed and confirmed we were in the right direction," Voss told reporters in his post-match press conference.
"We had to answer a few challenges, but it is a signature win for the club. At some stage we'll put it in its place where it belongs, but at this particular moment, it’s a very important win for us.
"I'm just really pleased for the club, I really am. I'm pleased for the players for how dedicated they've been through this period of time. I'm really pleased for our staff and for them to be able to really commit themselves to put the program around the boys and the environment and I'm really pleased for our members and supporters.
"We'll take the time to enjoy it, absolutely, but again if we go back to the consistency message we've got to work out what's real; we've got to get back to work; we've still got things to grow in our game but we're starting from a pretty good base."
Carlton will now face the Western Bulldogs next Thursday night at Marvel Stadium, while Richmond will have to wait until next Sunday to atone when it hosts Greater Western Sydney at the MCG.