And the Bombers boss, continuing under siege with an extensive Australian Anti-Doping Authority investigation into his club’s possible abuse of training substances last year, confirmed that captain Jobe Watson is on the verge of a playing return.
Watson has shaken off effects of medial ligament soreness from a knock to his left knee during an intra-club match almost a month ago and could resume in Saturday evening’s NAB Cup engagement with Richmond in Wangaratta.
Hird confessed a final assessment on whether the reigning Brownlow medallist would be made in consultation with medical staff before the match.
"We hope to play Jobe in the next few (NAB) weeks," Hird said.
The Bombers boss claimed an interchange cap at 80-a-match for each team and no more than 20 in any quarter, will severely sap energy of players who have to stay in the thick of on-ground action for longer sustained periods.
League football operations managers have been determined to reduce rotations that swelled to an average in excess of 120-a-game in recent seasons.
Some sides like Adelaide and Geelong got as high a 140 in some games last season.
Some of the lowest interchange tallies were at West Coast and North Melbourne at around 117 each.
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse slammed the new restrictions when he declared the limit should be more at the discretion of each club.
Hird expects key players to have to execute rest phases on the field of play rather than swing through the interchange bench unchecked and unaccounted for under the new regulation.
“You’re going to have to leave players out on the ground longer,” Hird assessed.
“They won’t be able to rest as much, your deep backs and forwards probably won’t get a rotation and probably your midfielders will have to rest back or rest forward.
“So, I think the game will probably open up a little bit towards the end of a game more than perhaps it has in the past.”