Richmond's No.1 ruckman Ivan Maric could need ankle surgery and the Tigers remain unsure when he will start his AFL season.
Coach Damien Hardwick revealed after Saturday's impressive 48-point pre-season win over Collingwood in Wangaratta that Maric remains a concern for them.
But strong performances from ruck recruit Shaun Hampson and tall swingman Ben Griffiths on Saturday suggest Richmond have better back-up for Maric this season.
The Tigers broke clear in the last term in front of a full house of 11,000 at the Wangaratta Showgrounds to beat the Magpies 1.17.13 (124) to 1.10.7 (76).
Richmond picked up Hampson in a trade with Carlton last year and he outclassed Collingwood's rising ruck star Brodie Grundy.
Griffiths also showed good signs as the back-up ruckman.
Maric had successful post-season groin surgery but has yet to play in the pre-season.
"We're just monitoring his progress and see how he's going," Hardwick said.
"We've got to assess how he goes. He's probably in the hands of the doctor at the moment.
"It's been a bit of a drawn-out process at this stage so at some stage we've probably got to make a decision on which way we go.
"(Surgery) is a possibility."
Asked how long the Tigers' medical staff thought Maric might be out of action, Hardwick replied: "We just don't know at this stage.
"It's just one of those things; he might go in and it might be a small clean up, we're not too sure.
"We've just got to see how it pulls up over the coming weeks."
In better news for the Tigers, Hardwick said key forward Jack Riewoldt is a near-certainty to play in their final pre-season game against Essendon on March 7.
Defender Jake Batchelor limped off at half-time against Collingwood with a corked calf.
The Tigers needed to be much better after their upset loss to the Demons and they bounced back well.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley said Richmond "nutted" them early in and around the ball.
"Probably attitude was the thing that changed," Hardwick said.
"We know if we come out with an intense attitude we're a good chance to win and it was really pleasing to see the guys come out and exhibit that today.
"But we don't want to be riding emotional rollercoasters where we've got to fire blokes up, we just need to play good consistent footy and that's what will get us where we need to go."
Trent Cotchin and Tyrone Vickery kicked four goals apiece for Richmond as Brett Deledio and Dustin Martin starred.
Ben Reid kicked five goals for the Magpies.