Bachar Houli has yet to fully recover from a calf injury. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Bachar Houli has yet to fully recover from a calf injury. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Tigers delay Houli’s return

RICHMOND defender Bachar Houli will spend a second week on the sidelines as his recovery from calf soreness stalls.

The 30-year-old has been ruled out of playing at either AFL or VFL level this weekend but will "push to play next week", with a return through the VFL slated.

"Bachar won't play this week," Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said on Thursday morning.

"I don't want to say he re-aggravated it, but it's just not to the level he's comfortable of playing.

"We'll take a conservative approach with him. He's probably started to miss too much footy so we'll pull him back a bit, get a good training block back into him again just to make sure he's ready to go.

"It's one of those injuries that we could probably push the envelope but we're not quite sure how it's going to respond so we'd rather be a little bit conservative and make sure when he's ready to go, he's ready to go."

The Tigers would seem set to go in unchanged for Saturday's blockbuster clash with Collingwood at the MCG, but Hardwick said Liam Baker and Patrick Naish had pushed their names into the selection mix after strong recent VFL form.

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