Daniel Rioli likely to miss round one of Richmond Tigers’ 2018 AFL season

Richmond premiership star Daniel Rioli will likely miss round one of the 2018 season as the club takes a “cautious” approach to helping the speedster recover from the “significant injury” he suffered in the 2017 grand final.

Rioli broke his foot in the final term of the Tigers’ premiership win over Adelaide and spent most of the off-season in a moon boot after having surgery.

The 20-year-old only got out of his moon boot earlier this week. He will need to go under the knife again after Christmas to have metal plates removed from his foot, according to Richmond’s general manager of football Neil Balme.

“We think he will play most of the year but he probably won’t play round one would be our gut feel, but he isn’t out of the question there just yet,” Balme said.

“The fact that it’s a significant injury we will be relatively cautious with it but in a high performance environment he will be pushing as hard as he can to get back as quick as he can. We won’t take any risks on it.

“We are pleased with the way he is going … We were quite happy with the flexibility, quite often it stiffens up so it wasn’t it bad shape.”

Rioli only made a fleeting appearance at training this week and the Tigers are happy to allow Rioli longer to recover if necessary given how bad the injury is. They have the luxury of being flush with small forwards, which means there is no great urgency about his return.