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Grigg eyes off early return

Injury Update: Edwards, Conca, Grigg, Townsend Hear from Physical Performance Manager, Peter Burge about the status of Shaun Grigg, Reece Conca, Shane Edwards and Jacob Townsend.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 15: Shaun Grigg of the Tigers looks on during the Richmond Tigers training session at Punt Road Oval in Melbourne on March 15, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Richmond's Shaun Grigg at training on Tuesday.

Richmond’s injury fall-out from last Thursday’s final NAB Challenge match against Port Adelaide has further eased, with hard-running midfielder Shaun Grigg on track to make an early return from a thumb injury. 

Scans revealed Grigg fractured his left thumb during the clash with Port, and initially it was expected he would be sidelined for the opening three to four weeks of the 2016 season.

But the Tigers’ Physical Performance Manager, Peter Burge, said Grigg now appeared likely to be back in action sooner.

“He’s got a plate inserted into his thumb and he’ll start running later in the week, so we can keep him fit,” Burge said.

“It’s really just when he’s allowed to do contact again and, at this stage, we’re looking at a Round 2 return.”

Talented Tiger playmaker Shane Edwards was forced from the field early in the NAB 3 Challenge match after hurting his shoulder, but the injury is not as severe as first thought.

Burge confirmed that Edwards had suffered a bruised shoulder and minor nerve damage.

“It’s improved really quickly and he’s probably going to be doing some non-contact skills later this week, so I think he’ll be fine for Round 1,” Burge said.

The news was not as good for midfielder Reece Conca, who will miss the first 8-10 weeks of the season after suffering another hamstring injury.

“Reece has got a hamstring injury high up in his hamstring near the tendon, which means it’s a longer-term process,” Burge said.

“It’s on the side that he hasn’t hurt before, so not a great result.  But we just start the ‘rehab’ process, and we look forward to getting him back as soon as we can.

Meanwhile, tough Tiger mature-age midfield recruit Jacob Townsend, who was concussed last Thursday night, will be available for Round 1 selection.

“He just had a bit of whiplash with his neck, but he’s resumed training this week, so no dramas there,” Burge said.