during a Richmond Tigers AFL training session at Punt Road Oval on December 4, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Richmond premiership forward Daniel Rioli has started running again as part of his recovery from an ankle injury sustained in the grand final.

The Tigers are on the Sunshine Coast for a gruelling five day training camp, an opportunity Rioli is using to begin his return to match fitness.

“He’s started running out on the grass, and really we’re re-educating him on how to run again, because he hasn’t run for so long, he’s been in a boot,” Physical Performance Manager Peter Burge told richmondfc.com.au.

“We’re teaching him how to move again, posture, all this sort of stuff with running before we start to do any longer running.

“We want to get that right first. If we don’t get that right first it could lead to other types of injuries, like over-use injuries.

“He’s doing really, really well. From what I saw today, his second session back out here, I was really impressed.”

While Rioli gradually works back to full health his Tiger teammates are enduring the toughest week of their pre-season, with physicality a key pillar in most sessions.

“Our third week of training in January is generally our hardest week we that have in all pre-season,” Burge said.

“Today (Monday) was the first of the main sessions that we do, [and it] was pretty tough.

“The drills are fairly similar to what we’ve done the last few weeks, very physical drills, and it’s progressed each week.

“The times of our drills have lengthened and the physicality of our drills has been high the last couple of weeks…we’ve just progressed into a little bit of match play for the first time today.”

Burge also said Nathan Drummond is hopeful of lining up round one, whilst Shaun Hampson is on a modified program due to an ongoing back issue.