Dusty back? Tigers say Martin ‘looking really good’ for AFL return

A Richmond Tigers AFL player handballs with his right hand.

Richmond say superstar Dustin Martin is looking “really good” to make his eagerly anticipated AFL return against Collingwood.

Key points:

  • Dustin Martin returned to Tigers training last week and has been tuning up for an AFL return
  • Martin took personal leave after round one, and has been grieving the loss of his father Shane
  • Martin looks set to return if he safely negotiates a Thursday training session

The three-time Norm Smith medallist has not played since round one after taking personal leave.

But after returning to the club last week, Martin has been training hard to convince the Tigers he is ready to resume his 261-game career.

The 30-year-old has been grieving the death of his father, Shane, who died last December in New Zealand.

Martin missed last Friday’s 109-point demolition of West Coast but did take part in a big session at Punt Rd on the same day.

“Dustin’s been training with us now for a week and a half,” Richmond physical performance manager Peter Burge said.

“He completed quite a big session out here with the other guys who didn’t have a game last week, and he did a huge workload in terms of total kilometres, some intensity, some handball games, match simulation type training.

“We’ve got another main session on Thursday and all being great in that, then I’d anticipate he would be up for selection.”

A Richmond Tigers AFL player handballs with his right hand.
Martin has missed a lot of football over the last 12 months due to injury and personal leave.(AAP: Daniel Pockett)

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said after the game he would leave Martin’s availability in the hands of medical staff, knowing his dynamite midfielder would always put his hand up to play.

But fellow on-baller Dion Prestia might struggle to come up for Saturday’s enticing clash with the Magpies at the MCG.

The triple premiership star reported issues with his ankle, Achilles and calf and was subbed out of the game against the Eagles.

“He’s actually crook today (Tuesday), he’s at home, so we haven’t had a chance to look at him on the track,” Burge said.

“We have our main training session this week on Thursday so we’ll assess him then to see where he’s at, see if he can do some running or participate in any skill work, and we’ll have an update after training on Thursday.”




Author: Ivan Robinson