AFL Rd 1 - Richmond v Carlton
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 18: Dustin Martin of the Tigers is tackled by Sam Walsh of the Blues during the 2021 AFL Round 01 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Carlton Blues at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 18, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Richmond have confirmed superstar Dustin Martin won't return to the field during the home and away season amid the Tigers' battle to secure a top-eight finish.

Martin's last appearance in the yellow and black came in Round 16 against the Eagles, where he was subbed out due to hamstring tightness.

The veteran midfielder has returned to the field since, having experienced further setbacks in his recuperation from the injury.

While Martin was flagged for a potential return for Richmond's Round 23 bout with Essendon, Tigers senior coach Damien Hardwick has since dashed any hope of seeing the triple Norm Smith Medal winner back on the field prior to finals.

"The regular season he won't play any further part, and if we make it (finals), he'll be putting his hand up to play," Hardwick told media on Thursday.

"Probably speaking to Dustin really how he feels and where our medical staff think it is, just to give himself the best opportunity.

"We want to give him the very best opportunity to play at his best, we know what he's like at this time of year (in finals)

"If we get there, he'll certainly have a significant part to play."

The Tigers will face Hawthorn this weekend in hope of strengthening their chance of a September spot as they currently sit in eighth with a fortnight to go in the 2022 season.

Hardwick also confirmed that Nick Vlastuin was a chance to face the Hawks on Sunday, despite being substituted in Richmond's Round 21 win. The star defender suffered a rib injury in the third term of the Port clash, with the three-time premiership coach "confident" he will be right to play this weekend.

“We’re confident at this stage… he won’t do the full session today, but we’ve got some time to play with," Hardwick said.

Both St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs remain in the race as they chase the Tigers, who can secure a finals berth this weekend should certain results go their way.

Their prospects of winning this weekend have gained a major boost, with Hawthorn pair Changkuoth Jiath and Mitch Lewis ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Both Jiath and Lewis have been put on ice for the coming rounds as they continue to nurse wrist and knee injuries respectively.

“Unfortunately, Changkuoth has sprained his wrist. This will settle non-operatively, but in order for this to occur he has been placed in a wrist splint and he will be unavailable for the rest of the season,” Hawks football boss Rob McCartney said.

“Mitch continues to have some ongoing swelling in his knee, and we think that will be irritated more by continuing to play games so we’ve taken a conservative option for him not to play for the rest of the season.

Changkuoth Jiath during the AFL match between Hawthorn and St Kilda in Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

“This approach with both players allows them to be able to complete their off-season programs in readiness for the start of pre-season.”

Lewis has enjoyed a breakout campaign in the brown and gold this year, booting 37 goals from 15 matches in 2022, whole Jiath has added to his rise up the ranks at Bunjil Bagora.

Neither of the star duo have featured in Sam Mitchell's side since Round 20.

The Tigers and Hawks are scheduled to go head-to-head on Sunday at 1:10pm (AEST) at the MCG.