Martin AFL return nears but not this week

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Richmond superstar Dustin Martin has ramped up his return to training but will not make his AFL comeback this week.

The 30-year-old was on the track with Tigers teammates at Punt Road on Wednesday, his fourth appearance at the club in five days.

His return from personal leave has lifted spirits within the squad ahead of a crunch round-seven clash with West Coast in Perth on Friday.

But Martin, who has not played since round one, will not travel to Western Australia.

The door is open for the three-time Norm Smith medallist to make his comeback against Collingwood in round eight.

"It is great to see Dustin back at training," Richmond football performance manager Tim Livingstone said.

"The boys are excited to have him back.

"He has got a couple of good football sessions in this week and is looking fit and strong.

"It has been a five-week break, so that is not the best preparation coming into this round (for Dustin).

"We will have a look again next week and see how he is progressing."

Richmond will also rest veteran duo Trent Cotchin and Robbie Tarrant for round seven because of the short break leading into the West Coast clash.

"The five-day break for those older guys and the travel is not the best preparation both for this game and the following (game against) Collingwood," Livingstone said.

Martin stepped away from football last month with the blessing of the Richmond hierarchy and his teammates.

The three-time Norm Smith medallist has been grieving the death of his father Shane, who died in New Zealand in December.

Martin had also returned from a lacerated kidney, suffered last July, which ended his 2021 season prematurely.

He had 21 disposals and kicked a goal in the Tigers' season-opening loss to Carlton before taking personal leave.

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