RICHMOND has officially ruled out Tom Lynch returning for Friday night's qualifying final against Brisbane.
The 27-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in the round 17 win over Geelong and initially seemed on track to return this week.
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Lynch trained on Monday morning and coach Damien Hardwick said the club would wait until later in the week to make a call on his availability.
But the club made the decision shortly after the dual premiership coach fronted the media.?
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"Collectively, we feel that Tom isn't quite ready to return to play this week," Richmond's general manager of football performance Tim Livingstone said.
"We are confident we've made the right decision for both Tom, and the team heading into this finals series."
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Hardwick had earlier expressed confidence in the star forward playing.?
"He ticked the box today and did what he was required to do. We'll have another session on Wednesday which will answer a few more of those questions, but at the moment it's looking promising," coach Hardwick said on Monday morning.??
"He's obviously a very important player to the way we structure up and the way we play. Our medical staff will make the right call whether they deem it is appropriate he plays or not."?
With Lynch ruled out, Mabior Chol is likely to hold his place in the side that finished the season with a win over Adelaide.
"If Tom doesn't it probably looks like a Mabior Chol [in that role] and we've got Josh Caddy that's available to play in that role as well and he trained well and strongly again today," he said.?
"We've got an ideal look of how it may be but that's not to say it won't differ with different personnel."??
Dion Prestia is expected to play his first game since round five after his ankle syndesmosis injury.
The Tigers had planned to play the two-time premiership midfielder in a scratch match with Brisbane last weekend but with that game not going ahead he trained strongly with the squad on Saturday and will come in for the contest.??
"He trained strongly, he was very good in our scrimmage we had on the weekend, and trained well again today," Hardwick said.?
"He hasn't played for a long period of time but he's got a fair base behind him. He's been in the system for 10-odd years so he's got a good understanding of what he can and can't do."