Richmond have decided to rest veteran Trent Cotchin for Friday's clash with the Western Bulldogs, while versatile midfielder Jayden Short will make his return from injury.

Interim coach Andrew McQualter confirmed to media on Thursday morning that the former Tigers captain won't be used off a five-day break, a move that will hopefully keep Cotchin fresh ahead of a critical final three weeks before the end of the home and away season.

The 33-year-old was managed for Richmond's Round 8 clash with against West Coast earlier this year - the only match the senior midfielder has missed in 2023.

"He was just a bit sore and the five-day break just proved a little bit tough... He'll be right for next week," McQualter said of Cotchin's selection status for Round 21.

While Cotchin will make way, Short and co-captain Toby Nankervis will make their returns, the latter having served a three-game suspension for an off-the-ball incident involving Swan Jake Lloyd.

McQualter will need to decide whether Nankervis returns to a stand-alone ruck role against All-Australian favourite Tim English or if in-form deputy Ivan Soldo shares the ruck duties.

Trent Cotchin during Richmond's open training on December 20, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes/Zero Digital Sports)

Soldo has been a formidable presence for the Tigers in his three weeks as Richmond's No.1 ruckman

Short's inclusion comes after he was a late withdrawal for last Sunday's matchup with Melbourne due to an ongoing hamstring issue that has plagued the best and fairest winner.

Swingman Ben Miller could join Cotchin among the omissions after being subbed out of the loss to the Demons after managing just six touches and no goals.

Tactical sub Matt Coulthard has been a lively presence in the second half of his two appearances for the Tigers and could retain the role, keeping out the likes of Noah Cumberland or Jacob Bauer.

Richmond and the Bulldogs will battle at Marvel Stadium on Friday at 7:50pm (AEST).