Lynch sets sights on round one for Tigers debut
Richmond recruit Tom Lynch remains determined to play Round 1 and says he is not worried by the prospect of slotting into his new team without a practice match under his belt.
Lynch, who had surgery on a ruptured posterior cruciate ligament last July, remains in the Tigers' rehabilitation group and missed the club's intra-club match on Saturday.
He has been ruled out of featuring in either of Richmond's JLT Community Series pre-season matches but said he still had hope of being fit to tackle Carlton in the season-opener on March 21.
Asked if a Round 1 appearance remained on his agenda, Lynch replied, "Hopefully".
"If I answer honestly, I'm not sure at the moment, but I'll be very close," Lynch said at Richmond's Community Camp in Albury this morning.
"If I miss out, I miss out. But I'm planning for that so hopefully I'll be out there.
"Over my career I haven't played many games at the 'G so it will be pretty exciting playing out there Round 1 against Carlton."
The 26-year-old said he had been "stepping up the training" over the past month but had been taking a cautious approach to his recovery under the guidance of Tigers medical staff.
"I've been in and out of drills at the moment. I started my competitive work last week and over the next probably two weeks I'll really look to ramp that up," Lynch said.
"I knew when I had the surgery initially that it was going to be a long time and we had to be patient with it. Richmond's been really good and just said, 'Take it slow, we want to build it, it's not about straight away, you've got a long future ahead'.
"So I knew that straight away but obviously you get to a new club, you want to be out there straight away with the boys. But the last month's been really exciting to be able to get out there with the boys and start training."
The former Gold Coast Suns co-captain said he was not concerned about team synergy early in the season, saying he would be given a role to play and fill it.
"We've been training for a fair while now," he said.
"Initially, Jack (Riewoldt) said it might be a bit clunky but if I just come in and play my role it will be okay. The boys have been playing together for a while now so I'll be able to slot in and just play my role."
The biggest crowd Lynch has played in front of during his eight-season AFL career is 51,774 against West Coast at Perth Stadium last year, making the prospect of stepping up in front of potentially 85,000 at the MCG in Round 1 all the more enticing.
"It will be pretty exciting, especially when they're barracking for you," Lynch said.
"It will be great to get out on the 'G and I just can't wait to get out there."
Lynch has kicked 254 goals from 131 career games, his best haul in a single season being 66 in 2016.