Dion Prestia has suffered a fresh blow in his long battle with soft-tissue injuries just weeks out from Richmond’s opening game of the AFL season.
The 31-year-old, out of contract at the end of the year, went down in an intra-club match on Wednesday and was sent for scans.
The Tigers have since confirmed he suffered a “minor hamstring injury” and will move into the rehab group.
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“We anticipate he will be back training fully in a couple of weeks,” fitness boss Luke Meehan said.
Prestia has been ruled out of a pre-season scratch match with Melbourne on February 18 but could take part in another against Collingwood on February 26.
But any setbacks will put the triple premiership player’s home-and-away season in doubt, with the Tigers scheduled to take part in the opening weekend before Round 1.
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Richmond have been fixtured to face the Suns on the Gold Coast on March 9.
Prestia has suffered numerous leg injuries in his career, struck down by knee troubles when he played for the Suns and ankle surgery in 2020.
Soft-tissue injuries began to strike in 2021 when a hamstring problem was made worse by a calf issue and he was restricted to just nine games for the season.
Further hamstring and calf struggles troubled Prestia in 2022 and 2023 but he managed to play 39 games across the two years.
Thomson Dow could be one youngster ready to step up if Prestia misses time during new senior coach Adem Yze’s first season in charge.
The 22-year-old has played just 17 games over four years and never more than six in a single campaign but impressed in the midfield in the match simulation where Prestia was injured.
“I think Rhyan Mansell and Thomson Dow just showed what a good pre-season means,” Tigers football boss Tim Livingstone told 7NEWS.
“They’ve been terrific.”
Mansell was backed in heavily last year to play a career-best 17 games.
Dustin Martin also lit up the intra-club at Punt Road on Wednesday, shaking off his own minor ankle complaint to dominate early.
Noah Balta started at full forward before heading from the ground in some discomfort, though he returned to play the second half.
Nathan Broad, Dylan Grimes and Tom Lynch were among those who did not take part at all.
Lynch has not played an official game since Round 4 last year when he suffered a foot fracture that required surgery.