Major injury blow hits Tigers amid Dusty rumours

AFL Rd 3 -  Richmond v Sydney
Tim Taranto has injured his wrist. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Richmond coach Adem Yze was forced to swat away suggestions of an early retirement for Dustin Martin as he dealt with more injury carnage after midfield star Tim Taranto suffered a fractured wrist in a major blow for the first year mentor.

It came as Yze confirmed another midfielder, Jack Ross, would also be sidelined for about two months after scans revealed a stress fracture in his foot.

The Tigers confirmed Taranto, the reigning club best and fairest who hadn’t missed a game since joining the Tigers from GWS in 2023, would need surgery and could miss Taranto “an extended period” after suffering the injury at training on Friday.

Richmond football boss, Tim Livingstone said the club would have a clearer picture of the injury’s timeline after today’s surgery.

“We are incredibly disappointed for Tim that he will miss some football, but we know the professional he is. He will keep himself fit and strong and return as quickly as he can,” Livingstone said.

“It was an unlucky incident right at the end of today’s session. He will have it operated on immediately, and we will see where everything is at after that.”

Yet-to-debut youngster Steely Green has been added to the squad of 26.

Yze said Ross, 23, would need surgery, creating a further midfield hole in the wake of injuries to Jacob Hopper and Dion Prestia.

“He’ll go in for surgery and I think it’s going to keep him out for around eight weeks, which is really disappointing for him,” Yze said.

“He was in really good form – he started to get some continuity as a midfielder for us, and he had an interrupted season last year as well.

“We’ll wrap our arms around him and help him through it.”

Kane McAuliffe could start in place of Ross against West Coast after he had four disposals and three tackles in a brief substitute cameo on debut last week.

The Tigers have been devastated by injuries in Yze’s first season as coach, losing Josh Gibcus for the season, Tom Lynch (hamstring) for up to three months and Noah Balta (knee) for about six weeks as well as Prestia, Hopper and Dylan Grimes during the 1-4 start to the season.

Yze said he was pressing on and happy to “see the kids play” as more young talent emerges.

“It’s not about me, you just feel for the players that are unavailable,” Yze said.

“Irrelevant of where we sit and how we’re going win-loss, we just want to see the kids play.

“So when you see some of your players walking around injured, frustrated, flat, that’s worse than win-loss.”

Richmond Tigers Training Session
Dustin Martin has been linked with an early retirement. Picture: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Yze was quick to hose down reports that three-time premiership star Martin, 32, who has been dealing with a calf niggle, was pondering an early retirement despite being on the verge of reaching 300 games.

“We don’t deal with rumours and things like that,” Yze said.

“For us our responsibility is to make sure Dusty’s happy, and I’ve said that from day one.

“We want an environment that can allow him to enjoy his footy, enjoy coming into the club every day and hopefully prolong his career.

“So those sorts of things are external, we don’t really worry about, but he came in and played like Dusty (against St Kilda), and that was the main thing.”