Main content

Off to NZ: Dusty out of Power clash

Saint straightens up, battle of the rucks The Footy Feed team with all the latest news
Dustin Martin will miss Friday night's clash with the Power - AFL,Dustin Martin,Richmond Tigers,Injuries
Dustin Martin will miss Friday night's clash with the Power

RICHMOND superstar Dustin Martin has been ruled out of Friday night's game against Port Adelaide with a sore calf.

Martin did not travel with the team to Adelaide on Thursday and was instead spotted in the international section of Melbourne Airport on Thursday morning.

The gun midfielder is travelling to New Zealand to visit his father Shane.

His absence on Friday night will end a run of  83 games in succession, the equal fifth-longest current streak in the AFL.

>> Click here for the full R12 teams

Martin's replacement will be either Jason Castagna or Anthony Miles, the only players outside last week's 22 to travel with the team.

Castagna is ready to return from the knee hyperextension he suffered back in round eight, while Miles is in contention after red-hot form at VFL level.

Richmond football manager Neil Balme said Martin had been carrying his injury for a few weeks.

"He was worse after last week's game," Balme said as the team prepared to depart Melbourne.

"It hasn't really affected him in games, it's just a bit sore afterwards, so we were a bit concerned it might turn into something more serious.

"There's no certainty in injuries, but we're pretty sure he'll play next week.

"We thought we needed to give him a week off to make sure it doesn't get worse.

"The docs, physios and conditioning blokes reckon it should be a week so that's what we're planning for, but given the fact there's a bye after next week, we're not going to be too worried about it. "

 

Balme, who travelled to New Zealand to meet Shane Martin a few weeks ago, said it made sense for the reigning Brownlow medallist to use the break to see his father.

"It wasn't in his plans but once he found out he wasn't playing, he made a quick decision and it's a great opportunity to go and see his dad," he said. 

Dylan Grimes didn't make the trip to Adelaide with the rest of the team, but is scheduled to fly later on Thursday after suffering a minor stomach ailment and being kept away from the playing group as a precaution.

The Tigers resisted temptation to bring in explosive forward Daniel Rioli after he played his third game in the VFL on Sunday.

"He was a toss up," Balme said.

"The fact there was only a five-day break between the VFL game against Collingwood and this game probably made us a bit more conservative.

"I think he'd be fine to play … but one more full game will probably get him in exactly the right shape.

"It's not a physical risk to play him but we probably don't need to so let's just let him have another good game and bang the door down."

The Tigers expect Martin to return to Australia on Sunday or Monday and start preparing for the game against the Cats.

Martin last missed a match in round 22, 2014, when he withdrew a day before a clash with St Kilda due to a hamstring issue.

That match was the only game he's missed with injury during his career.