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Vlastuin stakes his claim

Vlastuin update Nick Vlastuin speaks to Matthew Richardson about his rehab, returning to play and prospects for the rest of the season.
Nick Vlastuin of the Tigers in action during the 2014 AFL round 06 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne on April 27, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Nick Vlastuin of the Tigers in action during the 2014 AFL round 06 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne on April 27, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)

Developing Richmond defender Nick Vlastuin has put his hand to play in this week’s match against North Melbourne, after overcoming a finger injury.

The 20-year-old has missed the last two matches after surgery to repair a break in his right hand, and completed training at the ME Bank Centre today.

Vlastuin told Roar Vision he was keen to play this Sunday night, “if Dimma picks me”.

“It was my first session back today, in the wet, which is not really what you want with a hand injury, but it went well,” he said.

“I got the all clear from the doc, so I’m pretty pumped.” 

Vlastuin, who suffered the same injury as fellow Tiger youngster Liam McBean, on the same day (Saturday, May 17), has maintained his fitness levels while his finger healed.

“I only missed one week (of rehabilitation), because the first week after surgery you’re not allowed to sweat,” he said.

“Since then I’ve been getting smashed, really, so I should be pretty much the same as when I left, if not a bit better.”

Vlastuin played 18 of a possible 23 games in his debut season in 2013, and admitted his short stint on the timelines this season has tested his patience.

“The GWS game was tough to watch, because the boys were having such a good time, I suppose,” he said.

“Last week, I just wanted to be out there to help them.  It wasn’t fun in the stands.”
If Vlastuin is selected for this week’s game, it will be his 27th in Richmond colours.

In eight matches so far this season, he has averaged 16 disposals, five marks and three tackles.