Richmond captain Trent Cotchin has been ruled out of this week’s clash with Sydney at the MCG.
Cotchin was expected to return from a fractured cheekbone after missing last week’s clash with Hawthorn, but has not received the all clear from the surgeon.
“He hasn’t got the tick off from the surgeon as of yet, so he has got another week on the sidelines,” Hardwick said.
“We were hoping he would be available to play, but unfortunately the healing process does take a bit of time.
“To be more safe than sorry we’ll give him that extra week to recover.”
Hardwick said Cotchin did everything in his power to be ready for the match.
“We’ve got to be confident that when he’s out there he can perform his duties as good as he can,” he said.
“We’re a little bit reluctant to put him out there when it hasn’t quite healed as well as we’d like.
“The player will always put their hand up to play, they’re courageous, especially Trent.
“But we need the surgeon’s tick off and we haven’t got that as of yet.”