Richmond star ruled out of grand final
RICHMOND has made the heartbreaking decision to rule heroic on-baller Jack Graham out of Saturday's grand final against the GWS Giants.
Graham dislocated his shoulder in the first quarter of last Friday night's preliminary final win over Geelong at the MCG, but was able to play out the match with the joint heavily strapped.
But the Tigers on Tuesday announced that Graham wouldn't have the chance to win a second premiership medal.
The Tigers said the risk of re-dislocation was too great for Graham to play at the MCG on Saturday.
"We're so proud of Jack for playing on after he was injured on Friday night, he is the ultimate team man," said Richmond general manager of football Neil Balme.
"He has tried his hardest to be available and we commend him for that, but there's a high probability that he will re-injure himself in Saturday's game, which has influenced our decision.
"While he may not be out there, his contribution to the team this season has been invaluable."
Graham injured his shoulder in the first term of the preliminary final but returned to the field to play out the game against Geelong.
The 21-year-old is already a premiership player, having kicked three goals in the 2017 grand final.
The Tigers have a number of options available as potential replacements for Graham, who has played 16 games this year.
Midfielder Jack Ross - who shapes as a like-for-like replacement - and Kamdyn McIntosh were both withdrawn from Sunday's VFL grand final as injury cover for Graham and defender Nathan Broad, who is looking to prove his fitness after suffering a concussion against the Cats.
Broad was in the thick of things at training and star defender Dylan Grimes was optimistic on a potential return for his fellow defender.
"He's in good spirits, he seems back to normal," Grimes said.
"I'm not sure whether he's passed the testing and that sort of stuff yet but from all regards, talking to him just before, he seems back on Earth, which is a good result."
The Tigers could swing a bold move and hand a debut to mid-season recruit Marlion Pickett in place of Graham after he was named best on ground in the VFL decider with 20 disposals, nine tackles and a goal.
It looks less and less likely that star rookie Sydney Stack might get the call up after he struggled to have any real impact in the VFL decider and was hobbled by a knock to his right ankle in his return from injury.