Richmond won't rush Houli return: Riewoldt

Richmond's Bachar Houli is in doubt to play when the AFL returns in June due to a calf issue.
Richmond's Bachar Houli is in doubt to play when the AFL returns in June due to a calf issue.

Richmond won't rush Bachar Houli's recovery from calf issues for their AFL round-two clash with Collingwood.

Houli trained away from Richmond's main group on Monday and forward Jack Riewoldt said he was uncertain whether the 32-year-old defender would feature on June 11.

"Bachar's had a couple of small calf issues. This one's nothing major, but it's just precautionary with him," Riewoldt told reporters.

"Obviously when you start developing a bit of a history with calves, you (have to) be really diligent and want to be careful with it

"And look I'm not sure whether he will put his hand up to play in two weeks' time.

"He's assured me personally that it's not as bad as what was first reported but we'll take no risk with Bachar as we do with no player

"If they're not right to play or if there's an element of risk that outweighs the reward then we will go down the path of another week off or another two weeks off and when he's right to go, he'll be back and flying.

"We know how important (Houli) is and how much of a big game player he is as well, so no risks with Bachar - he's too important."

After Richmond's return to full-contact training, Riewoldt was confident the Tigers had nailed the balance between preparing for matches and minimising injuries.

"We need to do some sort of contact, but we obviously don't want to be smashing each other," he said.

"We know (because) the season is shorter and backing up's going to be really important, that we can't go out there and smash blokes into the ground - because this year's the year that everyone needs that full list and we'll need it big-time.

"So for us, it's just about getting that balance right. We trusted our coaches and our physical staff have really set us up for the restart of the season."

Riewoldt said defender Nick Vlastuin was primed for the meeting with the Magpies, having recovered from a concussion suffered in round one.

Australian Associated Press