Richmond defender Josh Gibcus has labelled his 2023 battle with a serious hamstring strain as "frustrating", with the former top 10 draft selection missing the entirety of his second season at Punt Road due to the setback.

Gibcus would suffer the ailment ahead of his sophomore campaign and would further hamper his hamstring during his recovery at training in May, forcing the 20-year-old to the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

The East Point product has since spent time in Doha, Qatar, visiting one of the world's most renowned sports medicine specialists to aid his return to the field after his year-long battle.

Having now returned from the Middle East to link up with his teammates for pre-season training under new coach Adem Yze, Gibcus is setting his sights on having an impact at the top level in 2024.

Speaking to Richmond Media, the key defender revealed he struggled with spending an extensive time on the sidelines.

"(It was) obviously a frustrating year last year" he said.

"It was a struggle (for me)... But, hopefully now it's all fixed and (I'm) ready for next year.

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

"I do appreciate what the Club did for me going above and beyond. Taking me to the facility that we went to, which was state of the art.

"A lot of top athletes around the world go there to do their rehab and pre-season training."

Gibcus was one of the standout rookies in 2022, playing 18 games in his debut season with the Tigers, including a role in their elimination final encounter with Brisbane.

The 196cm backman firms as a key piece in Yze's plans for the future, with Gibcus set to hold down a key role on Richmond's last line as the club's key position stopper.

While he was unable to add to his craft on the field this year, Gibcus revealed he managed to learn plenty off it, studying the game from the boundary.

The emerging defender said he has a hunger to get better in his third season in the yellow and black.

"It makes me hungry... I've missed it, I'm excited for next year," he said.

"My first year, playing a handful of games, I got to learn how quick the speed of the ball was, how other teams like to play, and just overall getting a feel for what the game was like.

"My second year, I was able to watch a lot more footy from above, just to have a look at what they're doing on the field. So, there was learning still.

"(In 2024) I want to keep chipping away at what I want to get better at and then improving what I'm already good at. That's what I want to keep my focus on."

Gibcus is expected to be on the selection mix for Richmond's Opening Round meeting with Gold Coast, with his return to the field potentially coming in the Tigers' pre-season meeting with Collingwood.