during the round seven AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Fremantle Dockers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 6, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

Dion Prestia continues to fight through injury troubles early in the season. His interrupted pre-season continues to be the issue but the Tigers are confident he won’t sit out more than two weeks with his calf injury.

The young midfielder missed the first three rounds of the season, and as soon as he shifted back into form, he has been forced to sit on the sideline again.

Richmond is hopeful the 25 year old will miss only sunday’s clash against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

“Unfortunately the rigours of AFL footy, the game is incredibly hard. It’s played at breakneck speed and generally if you don’t get the pre-season in, you’re trying to catch up,” coach Damien Hardwick told reporters on Friday.

“We thought we still got a lot of work into Dion that was required. We didn’t rush him back but the game is so hard these days, if you’re not probably at your very best from a preparation point of view, it is going to catch up with you at some stage.

“We’re confident that it’s at the low end and he’ll be back to play a lot of footy for us towards the middle-to-late part of the year.”

Prestia’s not the only midfielder who’s been forced to miss time due to injury, Shaun Grigg will miss sunday’s clash against North Melbourne as well due to a hamstring concern. Both however are not too serious.

“We’re hoping (Prestia’s) a week. Whether it turns into two, we’re not too sure. It’s on the minor side but once again with Dion, he’s such an important part of our team that we’ll be very conservative with those sort of guys,” Hardwick said.

“Shaun Grigg’s pretty much the same. Touch and go whether he could’ve played this week.”

Captain Trent Cotchin was forced to miss the round seven clash against Fremantle after his knee collided with the goal post in the victory against Collingwood.

Fortunately for the Tigers, they will be with their captain as Hardwick is adamant he’ll return.

“He will (play). He’ll train today. He was touch and go last week so we’re really confident that he’ll get through training today and play,” Hardwick said.