Dustin Martin shrugged off the agony of a serious kidney injury to return to the field and shake hands with Lions and Tigers teammates in the minutes before he was taken to hospital.
The superstar was ruled out for the rest of the 2021 AFL season on Saturday.
The Tigers released a statement on confirming scans on Friday night showed he suffered a significant kidney injury during his team’s win over Brisbane on Friday night.
He collapsed to the ground in agony at the time of the collision with Brisbane hard nut Mitch Robinson in the third quarter, and was on all fours again as soon as he made it to the boundary line.
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He did not return to the field and was taken into the team’s change rooms to be medically assessed.
It emerged earlier on Saturday Martin had remained in hospital on the Gold Coast as his teammates flew back to Melbourne and he will remain in hospital for several days.
Despite his condition, Martin was seen after the full time siren returning to the field to show respect to opposition players and to congratulate teammates after the upset win.
He was seen wincing in pain when he made contact with captain Trent Cotchin.
It was a gutsy act that has impressed some commentators across the game.
Walking on the ground after the game and shaking hands shows toughness and character..Sam Newman Tom Lonergan and Andrew Dunkley with significant kidney injuries come to mind. Wish this bloke all the best. Hope it’s a good result…the game sure does need #DustinMartin
Earlier, Richmond club doctor Greg Hickey said: “Dustin stayed the night in hospital for observation and has been seen by a urologist this morning. He is feeling good and remains stable.
Dustin Martin did not return.Source:Getty Images
“Given the delicate nature of the injury and recovery timeline, he will not play football again this season.”
Richmond football boss Tim Livingstone said: “We are incredibly disappointed that Dustin will spend some time on the sidelines but we are focused on his immediate wellbeing right now.
Dustin Martin was visibly distressed.Source:Getty Images
“Dustin is in great hands with the medical and support staff around him and we will support him however we can throughout his recovery.”
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick had said in his post-match press conference Martin had been sent to hospital for “precautionary reasons”.
“We’re flying home so we want to make sure that he’s available to fly – it would be a tough drive for Dusty,” he said.
“He feels sore … but straight away he said he’d be fine next week, but we’ll wait and see what the doctor says and what the scans show.”
It is a cruel blow for the Tigers and likely the end of the club’s premiership defence, just one day after their win against the Lions appeared to have got the club back into form.
The Tigers had lost four consecutive games before Friday night’s win to improve their record to 8-9. Their battle to qualify for the AFL Finals Series suddenly got a lot, lot harder.
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