Tigers confident on Martin, Lynch recovery

Shayne Hope |

Richmond expect Dustin Martin and Tom Lynch to feature in next week’s AFL practice match against Geelong as the star duo recover from injuries.

Martin (hip) and Lynch (hamstring) both missed the Tigers’ intra-club practice match on Saturday, restricted to running work in the rehabilitation group.

But assistant coach Andrew McQualter said there are no concerns of the premiership pair’s availability for the round-one showdown with Carlton on March 17.

Martin has not played since suffering a lacerated kidney in a collision with Brisbane’s Mitch Robinson last July.

The 30-year-old recovered well after surgery and has impressed on the track over summer, returning to full-contact work before the minor hip injury.

“Dustin was pretty close to playing (in the intra-club match),” McQualter said.

“(It) was a slight hip issue and we expect him to be fine next week.

“Lynchy was pretty much at 100 per cent running.

“He probably could have played today but it was not worth running the risk for an intra-club at this time of the year with those guys.

“Both look like they will be available next week. It will be a first game (of the pre-season) for them.”

Flag teammate Jack Graham has been hampered by hamstring issues throughout the pre-season and ran laps on Saturday.

The 23-year-old midfielder, who is touted as a future Richmond captain, is no certainty to play against the Blues in round one.

“Jack has had a little bit of a frustrating pre-season,” McQualter said.

“He has had a couple of injuries but he is really building up a base now and hopefully we see him progress into the main group in the next couple of weeks.”

Kane Lambert (hip) is also on light duties and missed the intra-club match, while Matthew Parker suffered a foot injury.

Scans will reveal the full extent of the damage in the coming days.

Premiership defender Noah Balta was tried in attack for the Tigers as new recruits Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne) and Josh Gibcus (draft) impressed in the back-line.

Ruckman Ivan Soldo returned to action after missing 2021 with a knee injury.