Dustin Martin, Daniel Rioli and Kane Lambert suffer injury scares at Richmond training
RICHMOND has downplayed a day of drama on the training track after two premiership stars were spotted departing early and another was sent for scans.
The Tigers held their main training session at Punt Rd, which was closed, but cameras outside of the fence captured reigning Brownlow Medallist Dustin Martin doing run-throughs on the sidelines before heading inside well before other teammates.
Fellow midfielder Kane Lambert, who returned from an ankle injury for Richmond’s qualifying final win over Hawthorn, also left the track early and was spotted limping from the ground.
There were reports Martin - who has missed just one game this year with a sore calf in Round 12 - suffered a corkie against the Hawks, which was behind his early exit.
However Tigers football boss Neil Balme said there was no cause for concern, both players completing their planned individual programs.
“Dusty did exactly what we planned for him to do. There’s nothing wrong with him at all,” Balme said.
“They’re all on their own programs. If they train together it’s more of a coincidence than anything else.”
It later emerged forward Daniel Rioli went for precautionary scans on a “sore finger” after the session, but Richmond also poured cold water on that injury scare, saying it was not expected to impact his preparation for next Friday night’s preliminary final.
Fellow small forward Dan Butler trained strongly to push his case for a recall from an ankle complaint.
Butler, 22, played a half in the VFL earlier this month but hasn’t been sighted at AFL level since Round 16.
There was some good news for the Tigers after announcing premiership heroes Shaun Grigg and Bachar Houli had signed one-year contract extensions.
Youngster Oleg Markov has also committed his future to the club with a two-year deal.
The reigning premiers will host the winner of Saturday night’s preliminary final between Collingwood and Greater Western Sydney at the MCG next Friday night.
Richmond has won its past 24 games at the venue dating back to Round 14 last year and remains a $1.90 favourite with bookmaker TAB to claim back-to-back premierships.