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Richmond expect Dustin Martin to be able to complete a normal pre-season as the AFL superstar makes a slow and steady recovery from his season-ending kidney injury.
Martin spent nine days in a Gold Coast hospital after he suffered a lacerated kidney in a collision with the Brisbane Lions' Mitch Robinson in round 16.
The serious injury immediately ended his season with Richmond's hopes of a three-peat falling flat as they missed the finals for the first time since 2016.
But the Tigers are confident the 30-year-old's preparation for 2022 will be on track.
"Dusty's going really well," Richmond general manager of football performance Tim Livingstone told Sportsday.
"He's just slowly started training, which is a planned process for him.
"Look, he'll up the ante, but I know he's just slowly getting into it and we'll build up over the next month or so.
"We expect him to be fine to do a normal pre-season - as much as possible."
The unexpected early end to Richmond's 2021 campaign means their pre-season will start earlier than in recent years.
Livingstone expected that to benefit Martin's triple-premiership teammate Dion Prestia, who was plagued by soft-tissue injuries this season and played just nine games.
"Dion (is) one of those guys that wil benefit physically from a full pre-season going into next year," he said.
"We're fortunate enough to finish as late as we did (in premiership seasons) but (a longer pre-season) allows us to put some real time into guys like Dion who missed a fair chunk of footy this year."