Richmond youngster Kaleb Smith will be placed on the Club’s inactive list, ruling him out for the remainder of the 2023 season.

Smith, 18, was the Tigers’ first pick, selection No. 49 overall, at last year’s NAB AFL Draft.

The West Australian suffered a bone stress injury to his right navicular bone in early February, with the delicate rehabilitation program’s timeline now pushing beyond the season.

Richmond General Manager- Football Talent Blair Hartley said that Smith had approached the “tricky” injury and rehabilitation with great professionalism.

“We are very disappointed for Kaleb and the Club that he will not play any football in his debut season, particularly after how much he impressed us with his pre-season match play,” he said.

“He has fitted into the group well, worked diligently with our medical staff, and been very positive throughout his time on the sidelines.

“Unfortunately, after seeing some specialists outside the Club and with a stagnating recovery timeline, we have decided to place him as inactive with a view to his long-term future.

“We will continue to treat Kaleb’s injury carefully through this period.”

The vacancy will now open a second spot on Richmond’s list ahead of the 2023 Mid-Season Draft set to be held on May 31.

“We are excited about the prospect of bringing two new players to the Club,” Hartley said.

The Mid-Season Draft has been fruitful for Richmond since its inception in 2019, with Marlion Pickett famously going on to debut in that season’s Grand Final.

Pickett’s former South Fremantle teammate Matthew Parker (2021) also made an impact with the Tigers after being selected mid-season, breaking quickly into the senior team, while Jacob Bauer (2022) has been among the emergencies at times this year as a young key position player.

Richmond’s first vacancy on the list was created through the retirement of Jason Castagna.