Tom Lynch is seen on the bench during round four, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

STAR Richmond forward Tom Lynch has been sent straight to the Tribunal and is set to cop a lengthy suspension, while foot surgery will also sideline him for an extended period.

Lynch's hit on Western Bulldogs defender Alex Keath on Saturday has been graded as careless, severe impact and high contact by the Match Review Officer, meaning the star Tiger will be banned for at least three games and face the Tribunal this week.

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Keath was left concussed by the incident in the first quarter at the MCG and was subbed out of the match.


However, Lynch's impending ban could well be of less concern than the right foot injury he suffered in the five-point loss to the Dogs, which is set to sideline him for some time.

The MRO finding on Sunday came just hours after the Tigers confirmed Lynch will undergo surgery, with a timeline on his return to become clearer after he goes under the knife.

In other MRO news, Adelaide's Jake Soligo has escaped a ban for making unnecessary contact with an umpire and can pay a $1500 fine if he accepts an early guilty plea.


Port Adelaide's Scott Lycett can also accept a fine for rough conduct on Sydney's Lance Franklin.

The MRO finding on the Lynch-Keath incident is sure to stir further debate this week, with Tigers coach Damien Hardwick far from impressed on Saturday when it was suggested Lynch could be suspended.

"What for?" Hardwick retorted when asked about suspension concerns from the incident. "In a marking contest? Who knows... For being tough in the contest? I wouldn't have thought."

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"It was raised on the broadcast? I've listened to the broadcast recently, they're not great."

Lynch's absence will be a huge blow to Richmond's hopes of getting its season back on track, with the Tigers winning just one of its opening four games.

The key forward kicked 63 goals last season in his best return since joining the Tigers at the end of 2018, and his absence will place extra pressure on veteran Jack Riewoldt.

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Riewoldt was rested against the Bulldogs, and is set to return for next Friday's Gather Round clash with Sydney at Adelaide Oval.

The Tigers have confirmed Jack Graham is also set to miss several matches after injuring his hamstring.

Richmond sit outside of the top eight after opening their season with a win, two losses and a draw.