Richmond captain Trent Cotchin will return from a three-game absence against the Western Bulldogs on Wednesday night, but David Astbury is out for a little longer.

Cotchin hasn't played since suffering a hamstring injury in the club's win over Melbourne, and coach Damien Hardwick said the veteran midfielder wasn't certain to play every match in the next few weeks.

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Promising hardman Sydney Stack has also earned a recall, while All-Australian defender Bachar Houli (personal) will fly to Queensland on Thursday to serve his quarantine period.

However, fellow All-Australian Shane Edwards won't be available until sometime after his partner gives birth in August.

13:08 Mins
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Hardwick previews Western Bulldogs

Damien Hardwick addresses the media ahead of the clash against the Dogs.

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The Tigers will play four times from this week to August 17 and will leave the sunshine state just once in that period, to face Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

Premiership defender Astbury (knee) could miss the first two of those – against the Bulldogs, then Brisbane next Tuesday – after suffering a setback in his recovery.

He was originally trying to be available for Wednesday night's clash.

"For whatever reason, (Astbury) had an incident. We're not too sure what it was, but it's put it back a little bit," Hardwick said.

"It might be a couple of games at this stage.

"Dave is a quick healer … but he's so important to the way we play. We just have to make sure we get him right, because whenever he comes back in, we want to make sure he's in for the longer term."

Stack will play through the midfield against the Dogs after working hard to regain his pre-season conditioning.

"Sydney's a guy we want in the side, there's absolutely no doubt about that," Hardwick said.

"He was in a really good spot I reckon, pre-(COVID-19) isolation, if that makes sense, then when we 'isoed', he probably didn't come back in the form or shape we'd like.

"It took a little bit of time, but he's been outstanding up here and he's really taken to it and his training has been fantastic and he's been doing some work off-field as well.

"We're really positive that when he comes back in the side, which will be this week, he's going to have a really positive impact on our footy club."

As for key forwards Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch, Hardwick was confident they would have "a pretty dramatic increase of output at some stage".

They've kicked 19 goals between them despite playing all eight games.

"Jack and Tom would be the first ones to say they could play a bit better," Hardwick said.

"But we had a really good review meeting with the players and we're probably not helping them out that much, to be honest.

"Our execution and polish inside 50 hasn't been to its usual level … (and) the fact of the matter is they're probably a byproduct of the way we're playing."

08:34 Mins
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'We're improving each week' - Lynch

Tom Lynch speaks to the media about the key areas the team wish to improve.

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