Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says star midfielder Brett Deledio won’t play against Melbourne on Friday and will likely miss the Tigers’ round five clash with Geelong next weekend.
ASADA says it will not appeal Essendon verdict, hands case to WADA
James Aish: Brisbane Lions losing hope of retaining star midfielder
Richmond star defender Alex Rance considering playing future: report
Deledio has struggled with a calf injury since Richmond’s round one win over Carlton in a game in which he was suspended for one week for a hit on Blues player Simon White.
Hardwick said Deledio’s rehabilitation was slower than expected and that he would likely miss the Tigers’ crunch game with the Cats in just over a week’s time.
“He’s probably unlikely next week also … it’s been a bit of a painful process for us,” Hardwick is quoted as saying by Richmond’s official website.
Despite his struggles with injury Deledio was putting on a brave face, according to the Tigers coach.
“The good thing about Brett is he’s probably flat on the inside [but] you wouldn’t know on the outside,” he said.
“He’s got a bit of FOMO disease – fear of missing out.
“He’s texting the players constantly on the weekend finding out what’s going on, which just shows his love of the game, his love of the club.”
Richmond currently sit fifth on the AFL ladder thanks to its percentage-boosting win over Brisbane last week.
Hardwick’s side go into its clash with the Demons as the clear favourites, however Melbourne’s performance against Adelaide in round three showed Paul Roos’s side capable are capable springing an upset at the MCG on Friday.