KANE Lambert watched on as his teammates went through their paces on Thursday at Punt Road, a week out from Richmond's qualifying final against Hawthorn at the MCG.
The premiership Tiger, who was named in the 40-man Virgin Australia AFL All Australian squad this week, was expected to take part in the session as part of his build-up to next week's game.
But wearing runners and a hoodie, Lambert was restricted to handball drills with injured teammates Nathan Drummond, Mabior Chol and Shai Bolton during the main group's warm-up.
He then went inside and didn't return while the rest of last week's team, plus Sam Lloyd and Ryan Garthwaite, ran through a light session.
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Lambert and fellow premiership player Dan Butler are attempting to prove their fitness this week after suffering similar ankle injuries in the past two months.
Both had surgery to strengthen their joints; Lambert in the days after he sprained his ankle against Gold Coast in round 21, and Butler a few days earlier.
Butler's injury, while similar, was sustained in round 16 against Adelaide and didn't respond to non-surgical rehabilitation as was hoped.
However, he appears to have turned a corner and took part in Thursday's session with the Tigers planning to give him limited minutes in Saturday night's VFL qualifying final against Williamstown at Punt Road.
Coach Damien Hardwick said on Wednesday the six-day turnaround from that game to Thursday night wouldn't necessarily affect Butler's chances of playing in both.
Captain Trent Cotchin trained on Thursday despite nursing a few sore spots over the last few weeks, as did David Astbury, who was icing his right Achilles – the injury that saw him miss round 22 - on Saturday night after the win over the Bulldogs.
Cotchin moved freely in the light session and is expected to be fine to face the Hawks.
Dion Prestia, who has endured an interrupted season and also didn't play in round 22, trained without issue and appears to have pulled up well from Saturday's game.
All Australian quartet Alex Rance, Dustin Martin, Shane Edwards and Jack Riewoldt backed up from Wednesday night's function and were also part of the enthusiastic hit-out.
The players returned to the club on Wednesday after a few days off but it was their first session on the track since their mini-break.
Earlier this week, premiership forward Jacob Townsend was ruled out for the season with a fractured fibula that required surgery.