DUSTIN Martin is a "strong possibility" to return in Richmond's round eight clash with Collingwood at the MCG, according to coach Damien Hardwick.

The 2017 Brownlow medalist has not played since round one after the Tigers allowed him to spend time away from the club for personal reasons.

Earlier this week, Martin returned to team training for the first time since March 17 looking "fit and strong" according to the club's general manager of football performance Tim Livingstone. Martin didn't travel to Perth for Friday night's game against West Coast as he rebuilds his conditioning.

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Hardwick revealed that the Tigers were hopeful the three-time Norm Smith Medal winner would be ready to face the Magpies on Saturday week.

"There's a strong possibility it'll be the Collingwood game but we'll have a better understanding of that next week," Hardwick said in Perth on Thursday afternoon.

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"We watched him move around and he moved fine. It'd probably be doing us and him a disservice if we put him out there without the preparation he needs.

"(He's an) important player and, to be honest, half of Dustin Martin is probably going to be better than the vast majority of players but we just want to make sure when we get him back he's ready to go."

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Hardwick said Martin had been able to train hard during his five weeks away from the club but was short on football work although he wouldn't return via the VFL.

"He'll get a big session tomorrow training-wise, then he'll start to push his case from there," Hardwick said. "We've got to start getting some footy into him, he's been training hard away from the footy club but he hasn't been doing a lot of football work which is the one thing that can bring players undone.

"We'll give him his very best chance to play. I know our fans are dying for him to play. It's amazing the energy he brought being around the place last week. It certainly gave us a much-needed boost."

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The Tigers coach added that Martin was feeling better mentally, having lost his father Shane to a heart attack in December last year.

"He'll have his good and his bad days, like most people going through that situation," Hardwick said. "At this stage it's more good than bad. We'll just continue to encourage and support and put an arm around him when we need to.

"He's in a lot better space than he has been which is a real positive for us and I think the footy world in general."

Dustin Martin and his father Shane in Auckland. Picture: Supplied

Hardwick wouldn't elaborate on Martin's likely role when he returns, with speculation he could be used primarily forward given his lack of conditioning.

"We'll see how we go. He's dynamic wherever we play him," Hardwick said. "I'd love to say I've got a great understanding about where he'll play but he'll know where to put himself to have the biggest impact he can have. He'll probably dictate that more than me to be fair."

Vice-captain Dylan Grimes and Kane Lambert will return from injuries for the Eagles clash.

Hardwick was excited about an injection of pace, in the form of forward livewire Maurice Rioli jnr and Sydney Stack, who hasn't played since August last year.

Sydney Stack at Richmond training in April, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"His training form has been good and his form at VFL level has been stellar as well," Hardwick said about Stack, who has only played 16 games since his breakthrough 2019 season.

"Defensively he's been very, very good. Offensively, Sydney will always impact the game. He's quite special in that part of it. We want to see his defensive elements come out.

"He helps us play. We're looking forward to it back in his home state. He'll hopefully have a big impact on the game."