RICHMOND superstar Dustin Martin is taking time away from the club and is in doubt for Sunday's match at the MCG against Greater Western Sydney.
It adds to a growing number of headaches for the Tigers, who are coming off a rare round one loss to Carlton.
They have lost key forward Jack Riewoldt (thumb fracture) and top onballer Dion Prestia (hamstring) already for the match against the Giants.
Martin was a notable absentee from Thursday's run at Punt Rd and has not been at the club since Monday's match review, missing the Tuesday training session.
Coach Damien Hardwick said Martin was taking time away from the club because of personal issues.
Hardwick did not go into any details of Martin's situation, but his father Shane died last December in New Zealand.
"He's dealing with a couple of personal issues and whether he's available to play this week, we're unsure at this stage," Hardwick said before training.
"So we won't close the door, but we just want to make sure that Dustin's OK. We'll give him his time.
"He's so important to the fabric of our footy club, we just want to make sure he's OK and he's getting what he needs."
The 2017 Brownlow medallist and three-time Norm Smith medallist is Richmond's most important player and the 30-year-old is among the AFL's top stars.
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Richmond was well beaten in the midfield against Carlton and, with Prestia already sidelined, it can ill-afford losing Martin against another stacked group of onball talent.
"The worst thing as a coach - you hate getting beaten by what you know," Hardwick said of the loss to Carlton.
"We knew that (midfield) was their strength, but we just couldn't stop them."
Hardwick is confident of a response from his midfielders and doubts there will be many unforced changes to the line-up.
"The one thing we like to do, after a disappointing performance, we generally like to look for a response from those guys," he said.
Former captain Trent Cotchin was again in the critics' sights after a below-par game against Carlton but Hardwick said he's heard it all before.
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He again defended one of Richmond's heart-and-soul players fiercely, saying there is more to Cotchin's game than statistics.
"Did he have his best game (last week)? No. Could he play better? Absolutely.
"But he's a proud man ... he'll get better.
"People write the same articles - it's state of origin, it will be night Grand Finals, just like a constant theme ... trade period, same old same old, from our point of view."
Another glaring feature of last week, the first time it has lost in round one since 2014, was Richmond's eight 50m penalties.
A Richmond player has to bring in a meat tray to be raffled for every 50m he concedes.
"I felt like I was Oprah, giving away cars on her show," Hardwick said.
"To give up 400m of ground is diabolical, really.
"It led to three goals and the game was decided by four."