RICHMOND will welcome back star midfielder Dustin Martin for their much- anticipated AFL clash with Geelong.
Martin missed Friday night’s loss to Port Adelaide with a calf strain and used the enforced break to visit his deported dad in New Zealand.
The Brownlow Medal winner’s return further enhances what already looms as a tantalising match-up.
The reigning premiers are in second spot on the ladder ahead of Sunday’s encounter with the fourth-placed Cats at the MCG.
“Dustin’s great … he had a good running session (Monday) and he’s symptom- free,” Tigers performance manager Peter Burge said.
“He just needed an extra day or two from the soreness of last week. Unfortunately, with the six-day break, we just got caught a tiny bit short.
“So he’ll be fine for this week (against the Cats). We expect him to train all week and play.”
Important defender David Astbury suffered an ankle injury in the 14-point loss to the Power at Adelaide Oval.
But he is still a chance to face Geelong.
“He’s tracking really well,” Burge said.
“Obviously during the game, he came off the ground and was pretty sore … his ankle had blown up like a balloon.
“He’s still pretty sore and bruised, but he’s functioning quite well.
“So we think he’s more probable than doubtful … It’s looking fairly optimistic that he’ll be able to train later in the week.”
Young premiership star Daniel Rioli had a scare when a player stood on his surgically repaired foot at the weekend in the VFL.
But he remains on track to play his first AFL game of the season in coming weeks.
Bachar Houli (groin) is still about a month away from resuming.
No time frame has been set for Dion Prestia’s return from a calf injury, but he has been back running without pain for two weeks.
© AAP 2018