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AFL superstar takes leave of absence

Summary

Martin, considered one of the greatest players of the modern era, played in the Tigers’ round one loss to Carlton last week but has been granted a leave of absence from the club.His coach Damien Hardwick said on Thursday he was “unsure” whether the three-time Norm Smith medallist would play against the GWS Giants this weekend.Stream every match of every round of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >“It’s a personal matter … when we’ve got more information to share, we’ll share it,” Hardwick said.“He’s just taking some personal time at the moment. He’s dealing with a couple of personal issues and whether he’s available to play this week, we’re unsure at this stage.“We won’t close the door, but we just want to make sure that Dustin’s OK.“Our number one priority is we are a football club, and it’s important to win games, but the health and well-being of our players is our number one priority.“At this stage we’ll give him his time. He’s so important to the fabric of this footy club, and we just want to make sure he’s OK. Hopefully he’s getting what he needs.”Richmond could struggle to account for Martin’s absence if he were to sit out multiple games. Martin missed the back half of the 2021 season after suffering an agonising kidney injury in the round 18 clash with Brisbane. The Tigers floundered without him, winning just one of five games without him and missing the finals for the first time since 2016. Martin lost over 10kg after his kidney injury and recorded 21 disposals and one goal in his first game back last week.Martin also endured a difficult off-season away from footy.His father Shane, who had ties to the Rebels motorcycle gang, passed away in December at age 54.

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