The Aston Villa defender still has a big role to play this season according to his manager.
Villa have picked up four valuable points in their last two matches, defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Leicester City. However Garde opted to drop Richards for both matches, with Jores Okore and Joleon Lescott playing at the heart of defence.
Richards had been captaining the side regularly up to that point but Garde has moved to quash suggestions his skipper could now be set for a prolonged spell out of the starting line-up.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, the Villa boss said, “That was the best team for the last two games for sure, because I always choose the best team.
“Every manager has to make choices and that’s the one I made for the last two games, but that doesn’t mean I’m not relying on Micah.”
Richards signed for Villa on a free transfer in the summer and was quickly handed the captains’ armband.
He has played 17 matches for the club to date scoring two goals and providing one assist in the process, but the form of his teammates means his place in the starting XI is no longer certain.