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Inside Dustin Martin's fast return to match fitness as Richmond all but confirm star will return NEXT WEEK against Collingwood

  • Boxing, gym work and running has helped Dustin Martin return in tip-top shape 
  • The Richmond star came back to Punt Rd this week after a five-week absence 
  • Club officials have been impressed by Martin's fitness levels on his return
  • He is reportedly a 'certainty' to face Collingwood at the MCG next weekend 

By Ollie Lewis For Mailonline

Published: 08:11 EDT, 29 April 2022 | Updated: 08:11 EDT, 29 April 2022

Boxing sessions, gym work and running have kept Dustin Martin in tip-top shape during his absence from the AFL and the Richmond superstar is a 'certainty' to return against Collingwood next weekend.  

Martin returned to training last weekend after a five-week hiatus, with the 30-year-old taking time out to come to terms with the death of his father, Shane. 

Despite his lengthy stint on the sidelines, Martin has hit the ground running since coming back to Punt Road and has impressed coaches in a number of training sessions.

Dustin Martin is reportedly a 'certainty' to make his AFL return against Collingwood next week

Dustin Martin is reportedly a 'certainty' to make his AFL return against Collingwood next week

Damien Hardwick opted not to take Martin west for the Tigers' game against the Eagles, but the Herald Sun reports that the midfielder dazzled in a training session with the VFL side in Melbourne and insiders have decided he can return next week. 

'He (Martin) trained with us on Wednesday and it briefly came up (whether he would play against West Coast) and we said let's not take him to Perth,' Richmond performance manager Peter Burge said.

'He trained on Friday in a big session with the other guys who have a VFL bye and then we can look at him again next week. He has got through pretty much everything as planned which has been great and we look forward to him training again next week. We will revisit it next week.'

The 30-year-old has kept in shape with boxing and running while taking time out of the sport

The 30-year-old has kept in shape with boxing and running while taking time out of the sport

While out of the game, Martin has been ticking over with boxing sessions, runs and gym work and has benefited from that work since coming back.  

'We won't declare if he is in or not but he is a very, very good player and as 'Dimma' (Damien Hardwick) put it yesterday, even if he is not 100 per cent fit as long as he is safe to play from an injury point of view (we will consider it).

'He did about 11km of work and all the varying intensities we throw at the guys with a football component and a fair conditioning element, too.'

Club officials are confident he faces no risk of injury if he returns against the Pies next week

Club officials are confident he faces no risk of injury if he returns against the Pies next week

Burge said the club was never surprised by Martin's conditioning after 260 games in 12 completed seasons as well as round 1 this year.

'He is low maintenance, he is very good with recovery and his communication,' Burge said.

'We know how his body responds. He likes his boxing, he is more amenable to going for a run these days than 10 years ago and he's been maintaining speed and strength markers in the gym.'

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