Tiger ace Martin to miss AFL blockbuster

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Richmond megastar Dustin Martin will miss Thursday night's AFL blockbuster against a Carlton team featuring a mid-season draftee.

Martin hasn't trained this week because of a bad bout of the 'flu but the Tigers' key forward Tom Lynch will return from a hamstring strain for the MCG fixture.

"Dustin unfortunately has got a very bad case so he will probably be sitting on the sidelines at home with a cup of soup," Richmond coach Damien Hardwick told reporters on Wednesday.

"He is not too well ... he obviously came down with it over the weekend and just hasn't responded well."

Lynch returns for his first game since suffering a hamstring injury on May 21 while the Tigers have dropped Ivan Soldo.

Richmond's spearhead Lynch could be pitted against mid-season draftee Sam Durdin, who will make his debut for the Blues.

Backman Durdin played 22 games in four seasons at North Melbourne before being delisted at the end last season.

After spending the initial part of this year at SANFL club Glenelg, the Blues picked up Durdin at the mid-season draft a fortnight ago.

"What a story that is," Carlton coach Michael Voss told reporters on Wednesday.

"Second chance ... playing at Glenelg a couple of weeks ago and now he's going to play against Richmond in front of a massive MCG crowd, so it will be a great occasion for him.

"The fact that he has been able to come in and he will have an impact pretty soon, it's a credit to him and it's a credit to the way the boys have been able to support him the last couple of weeks.

"The first day he got in, he sat in front of the computer for three and a half hours trying to learn what our style was.

"I just want him to go and back himself.

"He has been exposed to this level before, he knows what it's about ... he has built the craft over a long period of time in the position he plays and that goes a long, long way.

"There will be some minor adjustments to how we ask him to do that but in the end it's down to winning your battle, and if he can win his battle that puts us in a really good position."

Durdin will plug a hole left in the Blues' backline by Caleb Marchbank's latest setback.

Marchbank injured a knee when making his AFL comeback last weekend after a near three-year absence from the elite level, while Carlton's defensive linchpin Jacob Weitering remains sidelined by a shoulder injury.

The Blues also lost midfielder Adam Cerra for the clash against the Tigers because of a hamstring injury.

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