Richmond superstar Dustin Martin will not play again this AFL season after suffering significant kidney damage.
The triple Norm Smith medallist was taken to hospital after coming off second best in a collision with Brisbane hard nut Mitch Robinson in the third quarter of the Tigers’ 20-point win over the Lions on Friday night.
Richmond doctor Greg Hickey said he expected Martin to make a full recovery, but the 30-year-old will remain in a Gold Coast hospital for a number of days.
Martin’s Richmond teammates flew back to Melbourne on Saturday.
“Dustin stayed the night in hospital for observation and has been seen by a urologist this morning. He is feeling good and remains stable,” Hickey said.
“Given the delicate nature of the injury and recovery timeline, he will not play football again this season.”
Tigers football performance manager Tim Livingstone said Martin’s health remained the club’s priority.
“We are incredibly disappointed that Dustin will spend some time on the sidelines but we are focused on his immediate well-being right now,” Livingstone said.
“Dustin is in great hands with the medical and support staff around him and we will support him however we can throughout his recovery.”
The Tigers of old returned on Friday, snapping a four-game losing streak in Jack Riewoldt’s 300th game.
But Martin’s injury takes the shine off one of Richmond’s best performances of the year, which takes them to 8-9 and back inside the top eight.
After looking like a shell of their former glory in defeats to St Kilda, Gold Coast and Collingwood, Richmond’s system and spark was back.
The Tigers will likely need to win at least four of their remaining six games to be certain of playing finals.
“I think we’ve always had the confidence, we just haven’t played to the level that we’d like,” Hardwick said.
“Players (have been) coming in and out of the side so our consistency wasn’t there.
“We’re going to get the vast majority back now, we think, so we’re really excited about that and what it does look for us moving forward.
“Hopefully we make the finals but I reckon if we get there we’re going to cause some grief so we’ll back ourselves in and see how we go.”
Utility Kamdyn McIntosh (hamstring) was another casualty against the Lions, but premiership ruckman Toby Nankervis made a powerful return from injury.
Veteran midfielder Shane Edwards could be a chance to return against the Cats next Saturday.