RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick says the Tigers will give a grieving Dustin Martin all the time he needs away from the club.

Martin has been on personal leave from Richmond since last week and sat out the Tigers' win over GWS on Sunday.

Hardwick wouldn't be drawn on reports Martin is considering his AFL future, instead stressing the importance of allowing the 30-year-old to heal in his own time, after his father Shane died in December.

Dustin Martin pictured with his late father, Shane. Picture: Supplied

He said Martin had also dealt with the difficult process of returning to football from the lacerated kidney that ended his 2021 season.

"Dustin's taking his time to figure out what he needs to move forward and as we've spoken about, he's had a really tough six months, none tougher than what he's had to deal with, first with the injury then with the loss of his father," Hardwick told Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"He just needs the time to heal. Grief is a thing that it's really like an injury. There's no two ways about it. You have to get some some treatment to make yourself heal and he's just taking the time to do that.

He's such an important fabric of our footy club. We miss him, there's no doubt

- Damien Hardwick on Dusty

"His father was incredibly close to him, obviously from a parent point of view, but he was also his best mate. So it was going to take some time and we're just prepared to give him that.

"He'll take the time he needs to figure out what he needs. There's no set date."

Three-time Norm Smith medallist and 2017 Brownlow medallist Martin has been an irrepressible figure on-field throughout Richmond's dominant years, and for many of his 261 games.

Dustin Martin leaves the field after the AAMI Community Series clash between Hawthorn and Richmond at Devonport Oval on March 5, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

But Hardwick said the Tigers were missing Martin's personality and energy around Punt Road more than his on-field presence.

"He's such an important fabric of our footy club. We miss him, there's no doubt - not on the footy field but just in the club," Hardwick said.

"He is just an exuberant person, enthusiastic and every time there's a game being played, I think of the word game and I straight away think of Dustin.

"Whether it's a game of cricket, basketball in the gym or anything like that, he just brings about a sense of energy that is irreplaceable. So we just miss him from that point of view."