AAP AFL

Four star Tigers to miss Qld AFL hub trip

By AAP Newswire

Four Richmond premiership stars will not travel to the AFL's Queensland quarantine hub, although injured forward Tom Lynch has been cleared to join the Tigers on the Gold Coast.

The former Suns captain will fly north on Monday night after having surgery on a fractured hand following Richmond's breakthrough win on Sunday against Melbourne.

But the Tigers' first victory since the AFL restart came at a major cost, with the club losing reigning best-and-fairest winner Dion Prestia and ruckman Toby Nankervis to syndesmosis ankle ligament injuries.

The pair will recover in Melbourne and the club say they will know more after surgery on Monday about how much of the season they will miss.

Syndesmosis injuries requiring surgery have been known to keep players out for as long as three months.

Another victim of the 27-point defeat of the Demons, captain Trent Cotchin (hamstring) has already been ruled out of Sunday's clash with Sydney at the Gabba.

Key defender David Astbury (knee) is about four weeks away from returning.

As well as injured absentees Prestia and Nankervis, the Tigers have confirmed Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards have opted out of the northern hub adventure for family reasons.

"We send our congratulations to Bachar and (wife) Rouba for the safe arrival of their new son, Mohamed, and wish Shane and his partner Samantha well as they prepare for the arrival of their first child," Richmond's football performance manager Tim Livingstone said.

This AFL season is one like no other, but Richmond have successfully navigated through treacherous territory before.

While spending more than a month in a quarantine hub is unfamiliar ground, having to cope without premiership stars for an extended period is not.

During Richmond's charge to the 2019 premiership - their second flag in three years - the Tigers dealt with a calamitous injury list before peaking at the end of the season.

"It'll be similar (to last year)," coach Damien Hardwick said.

"Your philosophy probably changes a little bit in regards to getting the guys to understand and gel together (with COVID-19 restrictions).

"That's where to me the hub is a bit of a blessing in disguise. We'll be heavily connected up there and this will be the thing that holds us in good stead.

"It's been a little difficult down here (in Victoria) at various stages but once we set foot in Queensland, things change a little bit."

Richmond's win against the Demons - their first since defeating Carlton in March - leaves them with a 2-1-2 record ahead of a meeting with the 14th-placed Swans.