Dustin Martin returns to Richmond and trains with team after taking indefinite leave to grieve for his father
Dustin Martin has returned to Richmond and taken part in training with the team in what Tigers fans are hoping signals an end to speculation that he could retire after taking indefinite leave to grieve for his father.
The three-time Norm Smith Medal winner rejoined the club on Saturday morning for a light training session before the Tigers’ game against Melbourne on Sunday night.
He did parts of the training program but not all of it, reported AFL.com.au, and there is no news from Punt Road about when he will return to the field.
Martin took indefinite leave after the Tigers’ loss to Carlton in round one (pictured) and spent time in Sydney before being sighted at a Port Melbourne gym last week
‘It was really good to see him. He looks healthy and we’re excited that he’s back here,’ said teammate Jack Riewoldt.
Martin had spent time in Sydney since taking his indefinite break after the club’s round one loss to Carlton, but rumours that his return was imminent grew when he was spotted at a Port Melbourne gym on Thursday.
The Tigers have repeatedly denied speculation that their superstar could walk away from the game as he struggles to process the unexpected death of his father Shane, who passed away in New Zealand last December.
Coach Damien Hardwick encouraged Martin to return only when he was ready.
‘We won’t close the door, but we just want to make sure that Dustin’s OK … we are a football club and it’s important to win games but the health and wellbeing of our players is our No.1 priority,’ he said.
‘He is so important to the fabric of our footy club.’