Richmond is set to be boosted by the return of Jack Riewoldt, with Damien Hardwick this morning confirming the forward star will face Greater Western Sydney on Sunday at the MCG after missing 10 weeks with a PCL injury.
While Hardwick is looking forward to seeing his co-vice-captain return, he expects his star forward to take some time to return to his best.
"He has missed a lot of footy, so he is going to be a little bit rusty. Let's just give him some time to settle in," Hardwick told reporters on Friday.
"We think it's going to be a little bit of a slow burn with the amount of footy he's missed.
"He is so important to the way we play so it is nice to have that sort of calibre of player back in the side.”
Hardwick also noted that Riewoldt may take some time to jell with prized recruit Tom Lynch in the Tigers' forward line, after only playing three games together.
"They've only played a couple of games together, so … it will take some time, we understand that. We've just got to hope they can click as soon as possible, they're both very smart players," he said.
"[Riewoldt] is such a quality player, having him in the side just makes us better. I think we'll start to see with Jack coming into his own that it will actually make Tom a better player as well because he won't have to play on two or three defenders."
Hardwick expects gun midfielder Dustin Martin to be targeted by the Giants after the effective tagging efforts of Matt de Boer (currently sidelined with a shoulder injury) last time the sides met.
"Good players always get some sort of attention and Dustin's used to it," he said.
"The progression in Dustin's game [is that] he realises now that he doesn't have to be the guy all the time, he can certainly contribute in other ways and allow other players to step up."
Meanwhile Toby Nankervis is edging closer to a return from the adductor issue sidelining him since the Tigers' round eight win over Fremantle.
"He has had a great last couple of weeks, he'll do pretty much full training I think today, certainly next week he'll have a full week of training, then he's probably about two weeks away from playing at this stage (this week included)," said Hardwick.