Richmond coach Damien Hardwick expects star midfielder Dustin Martin will miss at least two weeks with a hamstring injury from Sunday's win against West Coast.
The Tiger champion was subbed out of the 35-point triumph after a starring 17-disposal, one-goal first half against the Eagles and his hamstring strain means he's likely to miss upcoming matches against Gold Coast and North Melbourne.
But Hardwick said Martin had a history of returning quickly from muscle injuries, not writing off his ability to be back on the field for the Kangaroos clash.
"He'll be out this week and he'll probably be doubtful for week two at this stage," he told Fox Footy.
"But Dustin's had these sorts of injuries before where he's missed a game and then played the next one.
"He's a strong lad obviously, ... Dusty at a really high level is really important too."
The injury comes at a bad time for Martin, who had been building his fitness and form over the past seven games after returning from a stint of personal leave.
Meanwhile, Gold Coast remain waiting on scans to confirm an ACL tear for young defender Connor Budarick from their narrow loss to Collingwood.
Luckless Budarick, who missed most of 2021 with an ACL, went for a scan on Monday and his coach Stuart Dew admitted it was the most likely outcome.
"The signs weren't good post-game ... he wasn't able to get in for a scan until late (Monday) so we're still waiting on confirmation," he told Fox Footy.
"There's an ever so slight chance ... unfortunately the player landed on his ankle which left nowhere to go and the knee was next.
"He'll come back, he's still young, he is resilient, and such a competitor.
"He's got a long career ahead of him and we'll wrap our arms around him and he says in his words, he said he will reload and go again."
West Coast are sweating on the extent of Elliot Yeo's injury after the All-Australian tore his right hamstring.
It continues a rotten run of luck for Yeo, who suffered a serious calf injury during the pre-season, and was then hit by COVID-19 and a bad concussion.
The Eagles will also play the rest of the season without midfielder Dom Sheed because of a stress-related lower leg injury.
It's been a brutal year for Sheed, having suffered a syndemosis injury in his first practice match and missing three months before hurting his foot in his return game against Geelong in round 14.
"After putting in so much hard work to get back to playing after his ankle injury it's really unfortunate for both Dom and the club that he will miss the remainder of the season," West Coast football manager Gavin Bell said.
Collingwood defender Darcy Moore received good news when scans revealed he hadn't torn the ACL in his left knee.
Moore hyperextended his knee during his side's five-point win over Gold Coast, with scans revealing bone bruising and a capsule strain.
The Magpies will reassess Moore later this week to determine how long he will be out of action for.
Australian Associated Press
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