Richmond superstar Dustin Martin in doubt for AFL opening round clash against Gold Coast

Richmond superstar Dustin Martin is in doubt for the Tigers’ AFL opening-round Gold Coast reunion with former coach Damien Hardwick after suffering a corked calf.

Martin went for precautionary scans which came back all clear on Tuesday after copping a knock in training, four days out from the Suns clash.

But with Richmond playing Gold Coast on Saturday, then facing Carlton five days later, the Tigers may be unwilling to risk the 32-year-old.

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A decision will be made on Thursday, before the Tigers fly to the Gold Coast.

Martin could miss a reunion with his former coach. Credit: Getty Images

“He copped a little knock but he went and had a scan and it’s come through all clear but it was literally an hour ago. So that’s all I really know,” vice-captain Liam Baker said.

“But he should be right. But thank God the scan came back all right.

“He’s pretty tough. So he should be right.”

Midfielder Dion Prestia added: “I think he got a little corkie. Precautionary scan and then all clear.”

“Probably got a couple more days to recover and get ready for it.”

If Martin isn’t right to play, it will be a significant blow for the Tigers.

Richmond are already without spearhead Tom Lynch (foot), who is unlikely to return until after the Carlton clash while skipper Toby Nankervis (plantar fasciitis) has also been ruled out for the season opener.

Martin played 20 games last year after being limited to nine and 16 in 2022 and 2021 respectively.

He has spent most of the pre-season in the midfield and has his Richmond teammates excited about what he can do in the upcoming season.

It would also be frustrating for the superstar to miss his reunion with Hardwick.

Martin and Baker both spent their entire careers under Hardwick before the triple-premiership coach retired last year, while he lured Prestia from the Gold Coast at the end of 2016.

The Nankervis absence is also a huge blow, but it opens the door for Sam Naismith’s fairytale return to the AFL.

Naismith was dogged by serious knee injuries at Sydney before he was finally delisted at the end of 2022.

But after showing encouraging signs in the VFL, he was picked up by the Tigers as a delisted free agent in November.

– AAP

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