Key player to undergo pre-season surgery on ankle.
Richmond will be without Ivan Maric for the first round of the AFL season with the club announcing he will undergo surgery to remove bone spurs from him ankle.
The Tigers will be without the 28-year-old for the next six to eight weeks after the surgery was a success, leaving the side short on tall timber for the first few weeks of the upcoming AFL year.
Maric, who was troubled with groin issues last season, should be out of action until after round five, but Richmond fitness chief Peter Burge said the club wanted to nip the problem in the bud now and hopefully have Maric fully fit when it matters.
“He’s been able to train with it in the last couple of weeks, but he hasn’t been 100 per cent comfortable,” Burge said.
“It was a decision we had to make — does he play with it the whole year, or do we just get it done now and get him right? That’s the decision we made with Ivan, and we’re happy with that.
“It’s good to get that done now, and start moving into his rehab phase, and hopefully get him back on track soon.”
Maric’s absence from the Tigers’ line-up means much of the ruck work will have to be handled by former Carlton big man Shaun Hampson.