Martin on track for any finals, Tiger guns set to face Hawks

Martin on track for any finals, Tiger guns set to face Hawks

Dustin Martin has been ruled out of the rest of the home-and-away season but Richmond expects the superstar to be back should they qualify for the finals.

The three-time Norm Smith Medalist hasn’t played since hurting his hamstring during the Tigers’ win against West Coast on July 3.

The 31-year-old has played just eight games this season as he has dealt with personal issues and soft-tissue injuries, so the Tigers are taking a cautious approach.

“The regular season he won’t play any further part, and if we make it (finals), he’ll be putting his hand up to play,” Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said at Punt Road Oval on Thursday morning.

“Probably speaking to Dustin really how he feels and where our medical staff think it is, just to give himself the best opportunity.

“We want to give him the very best opportunity to play at his best, we know what he’s like at this time of year (in finals)

“If we get there, he’ll certainly have a significant part to play.”

Meanwhile, star defender Nick Vlastuin remains a chance to face Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday after suffering a rib injury in the win over Port Adelaide last Saturday night.

Veteran Shane Edwards is expected to return to take on the Hawks after being rested following his 300th game in round 20.

Richmond (11-1-8) sit eighth on the ladder ahead of games against Hawthorn and Essendon.