Grieving Dustin Martin could be back training with Richmond THIS WEEK after being spotted working out at Melbourne gym since taking time off in Sydney
- Dustin Martin hasn’t played since round one as he grieves the death of his father
- The AFL superstar, 30, has been spotted in a Port Melbourne gym this week
- Set to return to Tigers training on Thursday, Tigers are in 11th spot on AFL ladder
Dustin Martin’s return to the AFL is said to be imminent after taking time out the past few weeks to process the death of his father Shane.
The three-time Norm Smith medallist, 30, hasn’t played since taking indefinite leave after Richmond’s first-round loss to Carlton, which has prompted questions over his playing future – despite being contracted to the Tigers until the end of 2024.
There were even rumours swirling that the gun midfielder was considering retirement.
While Martin is unlikely to feature this weekend against reigning premiers Melbourne, a return to Punt Road is believed to be a formality now that he has been spotted training at a Port Melbourne gym.
He will be welcomed back with open arms, with Richmond sitting in 11th spot after two wins from their first five matches of the season.
Dustin Martin’s return to AFL is said to be imminent after taking time out the past few weeks to process the death of his father Shane
The champion midfielder has been spotted in a Port Melbourne gym this week and was expected to return to Tigers training on Thursday
It is believed Martin spent the past few weeks in Sydney with friends as he grieves the death of his father, who died suddenly in New Zealand last December aged just 54.
Richmond agreed to Martin’s request for time away, deeming it the best outcome for player and club.
Coach Damien Hardwick said player welfare is always of paramount importance.
‘He’s just taking some personal time at the moment,’ he said.
‘We’ll give him his time…’He’s so important to the fabric of our footy club, we just want to make sure he’s OK and he’s getting what he needs.’
Shane Martin (pictured left, with Australian actress Rachel Griffiths) died suddenly in New Zealand last December aged just 54
Martin shared a close bond with his father, who infamously had ties to the Rebels outlaw bikie gang.
He was deported from Australia in 2016 on the grounds of bad character.
Martin told Fox Footy earlier this year it was also his dream to win another flag – with his father watching on in the grandstand at the MCG.
‘I love my dad and he’s made me the man I am today,’ he said.