MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Dustin Martin of the Tigers looks dejected after a loss during the 2021 AFL Round 08 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 07, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Richmond superstar Dustin Martin will be forced to watch from the sidelines as his Tigerland teammates ramp up their pursuit of a finals place following the club's announcement that the 31-year-old had sustained an injury setback.

The tattooed dynamo has spent the past fortnight out of action after being subbed out of the Tigers' Round 16 win over West Coast with a hamstring complaint.

As Damien Hardwick's charges were both ambushed and embarrassed by Gold Coast and North Melbourne in successive losses across the past fortnight, Martin's absence has arisen at an inopportune time, given Richmond is still yet to sew up a place in the eight.

While Martin had not been selected to face Fremantle at Marvel Stadium this Friday night, it remains to be seen when the triple Norm Smith medallist will return to action, with the Punt Road outfit revealing "an aggravation to his hamstring will mean Martin remains sidelined for the medium term".

With just five fixtures remaining to stamp their September credentials - two of which come in the form of premiership fancies Fremantle and Brisbane - although the Tigers' medical team will no doubt hold a desire to nurse Martin back to health, time is now of the essence.

At the present, Richmond's 9-8 record on the season has proven strong enough to see them sitting in eighth place, however, with just three per cent separating them from a drop into ninth and out of the race, wins to round out the season are at a premium.

In spite of the stern tests both the Dockers and Lions are set to provide them with across the next two weeks, the Tigers are also scheduled to face the Power, Hawks and resurgent Bombers before the cessation of their home-and-away campaign.

Given the lack of a timeline provided for his return, fervent members of the Tiger Army will have every finger and toe crossed for Martin's swift recovery, just as they have had for much of the year as rumours regarding the Brownlow medallist's future at Tigerland continue to swirl.