Richmond superstar Dustin Martin remains in hospital on the Gold Coast and is “more sore than he thought” after suffering a lacerated kidney in last week’s win over Brisbane.
The Brownlow medallist is sidelined for the rest of the season and won’t be back in contact training for three months after he and hard-nosed Lion Mitch Robinson collided in the third term of the game. The knock left the Tiger on all fours once he left the field.
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said the star on-baller was in “good spirits” but wasn’t sure when he would be released from hospital.
“Dustin is still in hospital, we are not too sure when he’s going to come out. At this stage it looks likely, hopefully, over the weekend, but we are not too sure at the moment,” Hardwick said on Friday.
“The doctors are still looking at him and making sure he fully recovers.
“He’s sore. He’s a very strong lad, but he’s certainly a lot more sore than he thought he would be. It’s a significant injury, which is why he won’t play football for the remainder of the year.”
Hardwick said Martin was well placed to handle the mental side of missing the rest of the season and being away from his teammates.
Dustin Martin goes off injured. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia
“He’d love to be around us, he’d love to be with us, but he’s dealing with it the best he can,” he said.
“The one thing I’d say about Dustin is mentally he handles these things very well, he does a lot of work in that space. He’s in as good a place as he can be at present.”
Hardwick conceded Martin was a “hard player to replace”, but the return of veteran Shane Edwards for Sunday’s clash with Geelong could help offset that.
“We’ve got some players we think can fulfil that role in a different manner that we are excited to be given an opportunity to and see how that pans out,” he said.
“But if we’re looking for one player to replace Dustin Martin, we are going to be found short in that regard. It will certainly be a team effort. It will give us a different look.
The Richmond star was in a lot of pain. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia
“Shane (Edwards) has had one of those years where he has played some games, but he has been banged up to be honest. We look forward to having him back at his best.
“It might take a week or two. but when Shane Edwards is playing his best footy we are better for it. He makes everyone around him better. It’s a big win for us to have him back .”
After four losses in a row, the Tigers bounced back with a big win over the Lions to keep their finals hopes alive.
Hardwick said he never let the run of defeats get his team down.
“People think we ride the rollercoaster, but during the week we are pretty subdued. We try and keep a really positive outlook on things,” he said.
“The game is very challenging, if you dwell on things too long it becomes a negative mindset and drags your general wellbeing down as well.
“We will ride the emotional rollercoaster after a game for probably 12 hours, but we climb back into what we do pretty quickly.”
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