Dustin Martin is one of three Tigers ruled out of Saturday’s clash with North Melbourne – but there is some good injury news from Punt Road. Here’s the latest.
Richmond superstar Dustin Martin could miss another two weeks with his hamstring injury as the Tigers focus on ensuring the triple Norm Smith medallist can finish the year off strongly.
The Tigers confirmed on Monday, Martin would miss Saturday’s twilight match against North Melbourne, and a short turnaround for the following Friday night’s clash with Fremantle could see him sidelined for a third week.
Richmond has also ruled out forward Tom Lynch (hamstring) and Ivan Soldo (broken thumb) for the match against the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium, but ruckman Toby Nankervis has not yet been ruled out after his PCL issue pulled up better than expected.
The injury losses could be offset by the return of former skipper Trent Cotchin (collarbone), defender Noah Balta (hamstring) and Josh Gibcus (illness), who are all listed as “probable”.
Tigers physical performance manager Peter Burge said Martin was progressing well, but the club was mindful of the football he missed earlier in the season.
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“Dustin is progressing well … he is progressing his speed and kicking and agility,’ Burge said.
“He won’t be available this week and given next week is a short turnaround again (for) the Friday night, it’s going to be touch and go.
“Dustin has missed some footy earlier in the year as well, obviously with some time off, so it’s really important that we maximise his preparation and make sure when he comes back he is safe and can finish the year off strongly.”
The Tigers said the prognosis for Nankervis has been encouraging after the PCL injury he had been managing was inflamed in the loss to the Gold Coast Suns.
While the Tigers said Nankervis was “doubtful” to face the Kangaroos, Burge said he had not yet been ruled out of the selection mix.
“He has had this injury last year as well and he has been managing it for the last 12 months but it has been under control,” Burge said.
“He has pulled up surprisingly not too badly so we haven’t actually ruled him out of this weekend’s game, he is in the doubtful category right now. We just want to have another look at it later in the week.
“The scans have shown pretty much what we already knew, so it’s doubtful at this stage, but it’s not completely out of the frame for the weekend.”
The Tigers have not put an exact time frame on how long Lynch will be sidelined for with his hamstring injury, listing it as “short-term”.
“Some scans today have shown that he has got a little bit of a signal on his scans, so he is going to miss this week,” Burge said.
“We will just put him through a short little rehab phase and get him going again and hopefully it will be a short-term injury but we’ll wait and see.”
Soldo will undergo surgery on Tuesday on his broken thumb but the Tigers are hopeful he will only miss the one match.
“He has broken his thumb so he is having some surgery tomorrow and he will miss this week but we think it’s a very short-term turnaround and we are hopeful he will be available next week,” Burge said.
Season over for luckless Giant
Greater Western Sydney has confirmed veteran defender Phil Davis’ season is over.
Scans have confirmed the 31-year-old backman suffered a ruptured tendon in the Giants’ loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday, ruling him out for the rest of the 2022 campaign.
The injury is on the opposite leg to the hamstring injury which sidelined him in the first half of the season.
The Giants said Davis would consult further with specialists to determine his next step.
Davis, who is just eight games short of the 200-game milestone, is contracted for next year.
The backman had to be assisted from the field after he suffered the serious hamstring injury in the heavy loss to the Power.
Giants’ head of medical services James Rahme said the club was shattered for Davis.
“We’re gutted for Phil,” Rahme said.
“He’s diligent in the way that he goes about everything, including his rehab and it’s disappointing for him given all the work he put in to get back from his last hamstring injury.
“We’re in the process of seeing some specialist opinions this week for a more detailed prognosis, and to determine what the rehabilitation plan looks like for him.”
The Giants have also lost defender Adam Kennedy for this week’s clash against Brisbane after he entered the 12-day concussion protocols.
Swans’ ruck blow
Sydney has suffered a blow in its march towards September with ruckman Peter Ladhams to miss at least the next three games with a broken thumb.
Ladhams hurt the thumb in last Friday night’s impressive win over the Western Bulldogs at the SCG and will now miss weeks, but Swans coach John Longmire said he was thankful the prognosis was not worse.
“He has an operation today on his thumb, (and) at this stage we’re thinking around the three weeks which is unfortunate for him,” Longmire said on Monday.
“It could have been a bit worse so the fact that it’s three weeks, while not ideal, I was probably thinking after the game it could have been a bit longer than that so I’ll take the glass half-full approach with him.”
Superstar Lance Franklin is just two goals shy of equalling Geelong legend Gary Ablett Sr (1031) in fifth place on the all-time VFL/AFL goal kickers list.
He could reach the milestone in his home state of Western Australia when the Swans face Fremantle in Perth on Saturday night.
“I actually played on him (Ablett Sr) one day at fullback and he had six on me to halftime, so my memories of playing on him aren’t that great,” Longmire recalled.
“He was one of the most dynamic, explosive forwards to ever play the game.
“He was a completely different player to Lance. At his size and agility, he’s a bit different but their impact on games is very much the same.
“At that age it’s a challenge for every player to keep the consistency up at that level.
“Every week he’s (Franklin) got the best defender and to be able to manage that every week is a challenge for him but he’s just a massive competitor and loves to play in the big games.”
Nank injury guts Tigers’ tall stocks
Richmond will be forced to turn to one-game ruckman Samson Ryan after another disastrous night of injury concerns salted the wound of a post-siren loss to Gold Coast.
Both of the club’s ruckmen in captain Toby Nankervis (PCL strain) and Ivan Soldo (broken thumb) will likely miss next Saturday’s twilight clash against North Melbourne.
Star forward Tom Lynch will miss at least two weeks and potentially more after injuring his “good” hamstring after multiple issues already with the opposite leg.
Richmond elder Neil Balme said on Sunday the club would be cautious with Trent Cotchin (collarbone) and Noah Balta (hamstring), which means both could miss one more week.
The Tigers will remain in eighth spot at the end of the round but the disastrous loss will sting, with a host of senior players costing Richmond late.
Co-captain Dylan Grimes gave away a down-the-ground free late with a push in the back then dropped a chest mark with 45 seconds left that might have won the game.
Jayden Short gave away a needless 50m penalty as Gold Coast surged and Jason Castagna’s kick that should have sealed the game was touched by Charlie Ballard.
Richmond can still make finals with four or five wins from its last six games, which means beating the improved Roos is critical.
Ryan didn’t play this weekend, with Richmond having a VFL bye, and his AFL debut in round 15 last year against St Kilda saw him record a single hitout and no kicks or marks.
Todd Goldstein is a 289-game All Australian in career-best form, but the Tigers have few alternatives.
Players have missed as few as one games after broken thumbs so the Tigers will hope Soldo, who played out the Gold Coast game, could return against Fremantle the following week.
Nankervis will need scans on his PCL issue, with the recovery from those injuries anywhere from two to 12 weeks depending on the grade of sprain.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick admitted Lynch would need weeks on the sidelines even if his latest injury was to the leg so far unaffected this year after two previous hamstring incidents.
“There are no real minor hamstrings these days. He has had some history. I think it’s the other side, so he might have dodged a bullet, but he will still miss weeks,” he said.
“We just lost our composure. The challenge is we have been an experienced side for a long time but we have got a lot of inexperience in there, so we have got to go through the fundamentals of absorbing that pressure and using it to our advantage.
“The (Vlastuin) report hurt and we lose Lynch in the first three or four minutes.
“It was a tough day at the office and we lose Nankervis late (to a) PCL, so we might not have any rucks next week. It’s going to be a challenge.”
Lynch said he wanted to play on but was overruled by Tigers medicos and subbed out in the first quarter of the clash with Gold Coast.
The 29-year-old said he felt awareness in his right hamstring and then took himself from the field after missing a set shot.
“The Suns switched it to the open side and I ran out and sort of felt it a little bit and then I was having the set shot and I was hoping to kick it and then ran off,” Lynch said on Fox Footy.
Lynch went straight down the race to be checked over by doctors.
“It was very minor, I just felt a little thing in my hamstring,” he said.
“We just went downstairs and they checked a couple of things and I said ‘look I feel pretty good, I think I can keep playing’ and they just said ‘look, we’re just going to finish you up’ so it’s on the minor end, but it’s more annoying than anything.”
Lynch said the injury was on the opposite leg to the one that forced him to miss two matches earlier this season.
“It’s the other leg, I haven’t done this side,” he said.
“Fingers crossed it heals pretty quickly and I get back out there pretty quick.”
Will latest Davis injury be career-ending?
– Jon Ralph
Phil Davis is contracted for next season at Greater Western Sydney as he ponders a decision on his future after another serious hamstring injury that is likely to end his season.
Davis had to be helped off after suffering a hamstring tear but it is to the opposite leg to the injury that required hamstring tendon surgery in round 2.
The Giants’ tight salary cap meant Davis was owed money from previous years that he had deferred and then handed a deal for 2022 and 2023 when he signed his most recent contract.
It means the choice of retiring and working on a financial settlement or playing on next year will be his alone.
He was due to have scans late on Sunday but was sore and expecting to be diagnosed with another tendon injury.
The 31-year-old has been in strong form and does not have a history of other soft-tissue injuries despite the severe nature of those two tendon tears.
He was able to work back into form strongly after the first hamstring tear, so would feel able to fill a valuable leadership and on-field role if he does play on.
Jack Buckley was in impressive form as a key back when he tore his ACL in July last year and is due back in three or four weeks.
The Giants have plenty of key backs including Sam Taylor, Connor Idun, Lachie Keeffe and Buckley, so they can make a smart decision on former captain Davis’ future.
Adam Kennedy was subbed out with concussion in the loss to Port Adelaide and will miss the clash against Brisbane next Saturday.
Caretaker coach Mark McVeigh was shattered for his good mate Davis after the loss to the Power.
“It‘s a sad one because of what he’s been through,“ McVeigh said.
“He rehabbed really well through a pretty bad injury to get to this point again. He‘s got a lot of training in behind him after he got back. He was able to play VFL, played extremely well last week.
“It‘s heartbreaking for our club to potentially lose him for the rest of the year. You’d probably clearly think that’s going to happen.”
Dees put positive spin on Oliver surgery
Clayton Oliver has not ruled out playing with a broken thumb against Port Adelaide next week to get Melbourne back onto the winning list and preserve his record of 127 consecutive games.
Oliver was accidentally kicked by Geelong captain Joel Selwood as he attempted to win the ball in Thursday night’s loss to the Cats and scans revealed a fractured thumb.
AFL stars Isaac Heeney and Dyson Heppell needed only one week on the sidelines last year after surgery for fractured thumbs, so at worst Oliver would miss against Port Adelaide.
But he has already set himself to take part in that game as the Demons attempt to atone for a loss that saw captain Max Gawn admit the Cats were harder at the ball.
Collingwood’s Jack Crisp has the AFL record for consecutive games (178) among active players but Oliver is second, still a long way short of Melbourne legend Jimmy Stynes’ 244 consecutive games.
Melbourne doctors were confident on Friday Oliver only had heavy bruising around the thumb, which saw him in visible distress after the accidental kick but returning to the ground to gather seven last-term possessions.
Oliver’s courage was on show but ultimately the scans ensured he will need surgery on Saturday, which would give him an eight-day break to recover.
Demons football boss Alan Richardson said the newly re-signed star was no certainty to miss the Power clash.
“Unfortunately, scan results have shown a fracture in Clayton’s thumb, which will require surgery and most likely rule him out of selection for Round 18,” he said.
“The good news is that if he does miss the game with Port, we expect he will be back and ready to go for Round 19.
“He will be able to continue his conditioning work and we will look to integrate him back into light skills following his surgery.”
Bombers lose key midfielder for month
Essendon’s Darcy Parish will miss a month with his latest calf setback in an injury development that will see him missing against Brisbane.
Parish had returned to the Dons line-up against Sydney despite a tight calf and won 21 possessions but has reinjured the muscle and will miss the next month.
All Australian Parish has not been at his brilliant best this season but had been keen to return to help push Essendon up the ladder after improved recent form.
Essendon No. 1 overall pick Andy McGrath is back into the side after groin issues.
Originally published as AFL 2022: All the latest injury news and updates for Round 17