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Dustin Martin in doubt for Tigers' Hardwick reunion

Anna HarringtonAAP
A decision will be made later in the week whether Dustin Martin plays against the Gold Coast. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconA decision will be made later in the week whether Dustin Martin plays against the Gold Coast. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

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.

He will be rested on Wednesday and a decision will be made on Thursday, before the Tigers name their team and fly to the Gold Coast.

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"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 alright.

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"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 at least the Carlton clash while skipper Toby Nankervis (plantar fasciitis) will miss 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 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.

Both Prestia and Baker dismissed the suggestion their reunion with Hardwick would be a frosty affair.

"I don't think so - it's not the '80s anymore," Prestia said.

But that doesn't mean it will be all smiles either.

"Good luck giving Dimma a kiss and a cuddle - he'd probably slap you away," Baker said with a laugh.

"But no, we'll probably try and have a laugh with him and stuff.

"We're up there to try and win the game so we're not going to be too friendly with him. But it'd be business as usual."

The Tigers expect the Suns to bring hard-tackling, pressure-focused style that earned Richmond three premierships under Hardwick.

"We probably know exactly what they want to do, knowing that we did it for eight years," Prestia said.

"And everything we've watched has been pretty similar to what we're used to. So excited to get up there and play."

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