Dustin Martin to miss Bulldogs blockbuster




Richmond will be without Dustin Martin for the critical game against the AFL-leading Western Bulldogs with the superstar struck by concussion.

Martin struck a stray arm to the head in the third quarter of the Tigers’ 34-point loss to Melbourne on Saturday night and spent the final term on the bench.

He will miss the Bulldogs game under the AFL’s new concussion protocols, which require a 12-day automatic stint on the sidelines.

“He will obviously be missing next week which is disappointing,” Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said.

“But that’s the lie of the country at the moment and the health and well-being of the players is paramount to the AFL and our medical staff, so we’re going to stick with that and it will take its 12 days.”

Martin had been silent against Melbourne before he was injured, mustering just eight assignments under the watchful eye of demon stopper Michael Hibberd.

Hardwick revealed the dynamic star struggled with a foot complaint that took some of his speed and power away from him this season.

“He had some foot issues that weren’t that big, but it hit him, and last week it was kind of the same,” Hardwick said.

“In all honesty, even though he’s going to be short on time (due to a concussion), maybe it’s the best thing for him.

“He’s a proud man; he’ll never raise his hand to complain, but the point is, he hasn’t been explosive himself because of it. He will get better.

The loss to Melbourne left Richmond struggling at 3-3, and injury issues extend beyond Martin.

Kane Lambert (calf) and Dylan Grimes (ankle) were also injured in the physical competition and are in doubt for Friday night’s blockbuster against the Bulldogs.

Hardwick said Lambert was “incredibly dubious” but is hopeful Grimes will be cleared to play.

Other Premier players Dion Prestia (calf) and Nick Vlastuin (knee) are already on the sidelines as the Tigers’ depth continues to be tested.

© AAP



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