Daniel Rioli nears AFL return with Tigers

Roger Vaughan
Daniel Rioli's VFL form for Richmond has him close to a senior recall, coach Craig McRae believes

Richmond premiership player Daniel Rioli is pressing for his long-awaited AFL recall when the Tigers travel to face Port Adelaide.

The speedy forward needed surgery after breaking his foot in last year's grand final win over Adelaide.

He has played three VFL games including last weekend's first full hit-out.

Richmond VFL coach Craig McRae said after Rioli's most recent match that "he looks really close now" to an AFL return.

But the Tigers could keep the speedster waiting, especially given they are coming off a 71-point demolition of Essendon.

The Power might recall Lindsay Thomas, who kicked four goals in the SANFL last week, Jasper Pittard and Jack Trengove.

Port had bad news this week, with draftee Sam Hayes needing a knee reconstruction after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament at Tuesday training.

Hayes, who is yet to make his AFL debut, turns 19 on Saturday.

Collingwood are set to name high-flying defender Jeremy Howe for the Queen's Birthday blockbuster against Melbourne on Monday at the MCG.

While Howe (knee) is a strong change to return, Ben Reid and Travis Varcoe (hamstring) might remain out of the side.

Melbourne must find a replacement for high-profile recruit Jake Lever, who is out for the rest of the season with a knee reconstruction.

The Bombers could do with some good news after their Tigers mauling and Aaron Francis is on the verge of his first senior game this season.

The top-10 draft pick has had a solid block of VFL games after resuming from an extended break because of mental health issues.

David Zaharakis will be a long-term absentee with his shoulder injury.

Essendon play Brisbane away and Sunday's other game features Fremantle at home to Adelaide.

The injury-plagued Crows are set to lose Tom Lynch to a side strain, while Rory Laird is in doubt because of a broken bone in his hand.