Western Bulldogs utility Roarke Smith will miss the start of the 2023 season after sustaining a plantar fascia issue during last week's intraclub session.

Smith was joined by defender Ryan Gardner in suffering a setback from the hitout in Ballarat, with the latter already confirmed to miss Round 1 due to an elbow injury.

Gardner joined Tim O'Brien (hamstring) and Laitham Vandermeer (leg) in being ruled out for the club's season opener against Melbourne, with Smith the latest to join the Dogs' casualty ward.

The club confirmed on Wednesday that Smith has sustained a footy injury, with a plantar fascia ailment potentially ruling the 26-year-old out for an extended period if surgery is required.

The news isn't all bad on the injury front for the Bulldogs, with Cody Weightman (adductor) and Jason Johannisen (calf) in the mix to face North Melbourne at Ikon Park on Saturday for the Dogs' one and only pre-season match.

Young defender Jedd Busslinger, who made the move east from WA as the 13th overall pick in last year's National Draft, is building his workload after requiring surgery last year following a shoulder issue sustained in July.

The key defender is in line to play VFL football in the opening rounds of the season, commencing later this month.

Meanwhile, Richmond will be without veteran defender Robbie Tarrant due to a fresh hip complaint.

A brief statement provided by the club this week revealed Tarrant will be sidelined for the short term.

There is some good news for the Tigers however, with Tom Lynch set to feature in Saturday's hitout against Melbourne after recovering from a foot issue of his own.

Ben Miller and Tom Lynch during the round 22 AFL match between Richmond and Hawthorn on August 14, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Richmond Media)

Liam Baker (appendicitis), Jack Graham (toe), Nathan Broad (hamstring) and Tyler Sonsie (hip flexor) will also be in the mix for this weekend's action.

Midfielder Marlion Pickett is battling an adductor issue that will see the Western Australian sidelined for the coming week, with the premiership Tiger potentially playing for Richmond's VFL side for their pre-season match next weekend.

Richmond will face Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday before they plan for their Round 1 bout against Carlton at the MCG in two weeks' time.