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Tigers star to miss Port clash

Football

Richmond expect Brownlow Medallist Dustin Martin to only miss one AFL match with a calf injury – tomorrow night’s clash with Port Adelaide.

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Martin was at Melbourne Airport on Thursday morning, but while his teammates were in the domestic terminal for the flight to Adelaide, he was heading to an international flight.

He will miss Friday night’s away match against the Power and head to New Zealand instead to visit his father.

The Brownlow Medallist has only missed one AFL game in his 189-match career because of injury, back in 2014.

“He’s been carrying it a little bit and he was a bit sore after the weekend,” Richmond football manager Neil Balme told Macquarie Sports Radio.

“He probably could have gotten away with it, but we think it’s so important he gets that right, otherwise it may become a problem.

“It’s not an easy decision, because he loves playing.”

Balme added that given the time off, Martin’s trip to see his father was “too good a chance to miss”.

The Tigers football boss said Martin would be in New Zealand over the weekend and then return to the club for training, ahead of their round 13 match against Geelong.

“We expect him to play next week, almost certainly,” Balme said.

Meanwhile, defender Jasper Pittard will return for Port Adelaide after missing the past three games.

He will replace his taller teammate Jack Hombsch.

“It’s opposition too a little bit because Richmond do tend to play a smaller forward line,” Port coach Ken Hinkley told reporters today.

“And with the three or four talls we have down there at the moment, it’s probably one too many for Richmond.”

Hinkley forecast just that one change to his team from last week’s loss to Hawthorn.

And while Richmond will be without star Martin, Hinkley remained an unabashed admirer of the second-placed Tigers.

– AAP

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