Richmond forward Tom Lynch is all but guaranteed to make his return on Saturday against Hawthorn, while milestone man Dustin Martin is also set to be named for his 300th game.

Lynch hasn't played since Round 3 due to a hamstring injury which sidelined the premiership Tiger three weeks after his long-awaited return from a foot injury that riddled his 2023 campaign and subsequent pre-season.

A serious hamstring setback for Lynch has been met with significant caution by the club, who could've recalled the 31-year-old for last week's trip to Adelaide.

Deciding against the risk, Lynch is now primed to line up for his first game since March when the Tigers go head-to-head with an in-form Hawks outfit.

"He's going to be out there today and if he gets through today he'll play," coach Adem Yze confirmed on Thursday.

"He's had a great block of work. He was putting his hand up to play last week, we held that back and he's ready to go.

Tom Lynch during the round 22 AFL match between Richmond and Hawthorn on August 14, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Richmond Media)

"We've got a big session today. If he gets through then he'll play.

"We wouldn't push him any earlier. We've got the bye coming up after this game. So if there was any risk around playing Tom Lynch we wouldn't do that.

"We held him an extra week, another week of training and he'll get through today and play."

Martin, who was managed for the eventual win over the Crows, is also needing to tick off his return at the Tigers' main session, but all signs suggest the three-time Norm Smith Medal winner will suit up for game 300.

"He's back in. We've got a session today. He's up and about and we're looking forward to it," Yze added.

"He'll get through today's session and look forward to Saturday afternoon.

"When he's here he wants to train and train hard. So we had a good session on Tuesday and will have another one today.

"His whole focus will be around performance on Saturday afternoon, trying to get a win for the Tiger Army and we'll be trying to do the same thing for him."

Richmond also won't rule out Martin making a post-match appearance with the media following Saturday's result.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 24: Senior coach Damien Hardwick and Dustin Martin of the Tigers speak during a press conference after the 2020 AFL Grand Final match between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats at The Gabba on October 24, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

It may require a Tigers win, with Yze noting Martin's attention is solely focused on bringing a further four points to Punt Road.

"We don't want to put any more pressure on the fact that he wants to get out there and play a good game on Saturday afternoon,"

"Post-game there'll be opportunities for him to speak and hopefully after a good win. But that's after the event, he wants to perform first.

"The thing about Dusty, he wants to perform on the big stage and that's what we're gonna give him, that best opportunity.

"The knowledge that he has imparted on our younger players throughout the week has been amazing. He would hate me saying this but he could be a very good coach. It would be the last thing that he would want to do, but the way he sees the game is amazing.

"We can't wait to get going on Saturday for him."

Martin's inclusion will come as veteran Dion Prestia misses with a calf injury, while one of Jacob Koschitzke or Samson Ryan will likely be replaced by Lynch.

Prestia's latest setback will be the veteran onballer's third soft-tissue injury for the year, with the ex-Sun playing just six games for the season.

Currently a free agent and facing an uncertain future given his contract status and health, 2024 could be Prestia's final year with the club should his injury battles continue.

But the club isn't concerned that the 31-year-old's body could prevent him from playing on next year.

"There isn't (any concern). He's so diligent," the Tigers coach added.

"He got a knock on his calf during the game and he pushed through it. It's just a little bit too sore. We get an opportunity to rest him this week and with 15 days leading into the Carlton game.

Dion Prestia during the 2022 AFL Round 19 match between Richmond and Fremantle (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

"I think what he's done to get back from his hammy, his body shape has changed. He looks in really good nick and his running numbers on the weekend, even after copping a knock early in the game, we're really positive.

"I've got no issues with his future."

Midfielder Jack Ross is set to return to running next week - over two months on from a foot injury sustained in April. Ross is listed to be up to eight weeks away from a return, with the club mindful of the fringe Tiger's slow recovery process.

 2024-06-15T06:35:00Z 
 
 
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