Star out as Tigers’ injury pain intensifies

AFL Rd 11 -  Richmond v Essendon
Shai Bolton failed a concussion test following a heavy collision in the final term against Essendon and will miss Richmond’s trip to Geelong next week. Picture: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Richmond coach Adem Yze has suggested the Tigers may take only one player in Wednesday’s mid-season draft despite likely having four list spots available.

The Tigers believe key defender Tylar Young suffered an ACL tear in the VFL curtain-raiser to Saturday’s Dreamtime loss against Essendon.

The 25-year-old will undergo scans but is set to join Josh Gibcus, Sam Naismith and Judson Clarke on the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

It comes as Yze confirmed Shai Bolton was concussed in a final-quarter collision with teammate Mykelti Lefau and would miss the round 12 trip to Geelong to face the Cats.

Lefau’s raised knee struck Bolton in the neck and back of the head in a marking contest in the Tigers’ forward line, before Essendon defender Ben McKay landed behind Lefau and possibly dealt another accidental blow to Bolton’s head.

AFL Rd 11 -  Richmond v Essendon
Richmond star Shai Bolton (bottom) was concussed in this final-quarter collision with teammate Mykelti Lefau and Essendon defender Ben McKay. Picture: Morgan Hancock / Getty Images

“I was hoping it might be just of whiplash or a knee in the back or shoulder, but I spoke to the (club doctor) – he’s had a concussion test and he’ll go into the protocols,” Yze said after the 12-point defeat.

“Losing him at that time in the game as well, he was looking really dangerous every time he was around the ball … this game means so much to him as well. That was unfortunate.”

Yze said Jack Graham was set to return from a hamstring injury against the Cats but senior on-ballers Tim Taranto (wrist) and Jacob Hopper (hamstring) would not be available until at least the week after.

He said Young’s injury in the VFL was a “sad one” after he had been dropped from the senior side to regain confidence flying for marks in defence.

“He’ll be better for it. We’ve got three or four guys that he can work with that are going through the same thing,” Yze said.

AFL Rd 8 -  Richmond v Fremantle
Richmond key defender Tylar Young suffered a suspected ACL tear early in Saturday’s 61-point VFL win over Essendon at the MCG. Picture: Daniel Pockett / Getty Images

Yze was tight-lipped over whether the Tigers would chase a key defender in Wednesday’s draft, but said they were highly unlikely to fill every available spot.

“I know we can fit more, but I think we’ll stick to the one or two, and then look to the end-of-season,” he said.

“I’m not too sure (about signing a replacement key defender), Blair (Tigers list boss Blair Hartley) will go through that in the next week or so.

“Jacob Koschitzke went back in the second half to cover for Youngy, which was good. He took eight intercept marks and got some confidence. We might have to throw the magnets around a little bit to cover for him, but that was impressive.”

Bringing in Koschitzke would allow Yze to move Noah Balta back into the Tigers’ forward line after they went small against Essendon so Balta could play in defence against Peter Wright.

“I wish we had two of (Balta). I just feel like he’s a terrific threat forward of the ball. He’s a powerful athlete, they’re hard to find, good forwards,” Yze said.

“We just need to look stable down back … he’s a big presence, he’s a good leader of our footy club, and we just wanted to try something different.”