Daniel Rioli closing in on potential return

Richmond premiership hero Daniel Rioli could finally make his return to a footy field this weekend, in the VFL.

The small forward hasn’t played competitively since seriously breaking his foot during the Tigers’ grand final victory over Adelaide in September.

So bad was the injury that he needed to be piggybacked by captain Trent Cotchin for their lap of honour around the MCG during the post-match celebrations.

Rioli has needed a couple of operations in the interim but the 21-year-old has been gradually building up his training in recent weeks and, if all goes well at training this week and he gets through unscathed, there’s a good chance he will feature for the Tigers against Sandringham in Beaconsfield.

“Not long to go now,” Rioli excitedly exclaimed on Instagram on Tuesday.

With Rioli now closing in on a comeback, the only notable players on the Tigers’ injury list are Shaun Grigg (hamstring) and Dion Prestia (calf) – both of whom are close to full fitness.

Rioli played a key role in the Tigers’ 2017 premiership as part of their now famous mosquito fleet, averaging 11 touches and three tackles a game while also booting 25 goals, including a career-high four in the preliminary final against GWS.

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