Greater Western Sydney defender Phil Davis has backed Richmond’s “strong” stance on Dustin Martin’s season, after the triple Norm Smith Medallist suffered a lacerated kidney last weekend.
A seemingly innocuous collision with fierce Lion Mitch Robinson had Martin hunched on all fours, gasping for air, and the Tigers later confirmed he would not feature again this season.
The former Giants skipper went through the same experience after a collision with then-Sydney Swan Craig Bird seven years ago.
“I got a little knee from the side, it wasn’t that forceful, but I remember the instant pain and loss of breath,” Davis recalled on SEN’s The Captain’s Run.
“To see Dusty go down and be short of breath in that position, the pain and the amount of impact from (Mitch) Robinson … I was sitting next to Matt Buntine and said ‘that looks like a kidney to me.’
“Being so rare it was a bit of a stretch, but unfortunately it proved correct.”
Just 23 at the time of his experience, Davis says his immediate focus was on the long term.
“I vividly remember my one being all about ‘can I keep that kidney?’
“I made my mind up that if I lost it I wouldn’t have played (again).
“Once I got through that, and things had slowly started to improve, I really felt as though it was all just about being patient and letting my body heal.”
It was still a slow process however, and the former Crow spent three months on the sidelines.
“The first two weeks after (the injury), I was in hospital for the whole time and just the lack of energy … standing up was a big effort,” Davis recalled.
“Then you slowly start to feel a bit better, but then I had an enormous blood clot in my stomach just from where the blood had pooled and leaked out.
“It was the size of a football. Moving was very uncomfortable.
“It was the lethargy and general state of discomfort I struggled with.”
Davis believes the Tigers were right to rule Martin out for the rest of the season, for both his career and his post-playing future.
“I can’t speak on his behalf, but he’s in a position now where he’s had time to stabilise,” Davis explained.
“Having a lacerated kidney is not ideal … just the amount of blood you could potentially lose especially if you don’t treat it with due respect.
“He’ll be trying to listen to the best advice. I think they’ve made a really strong decision, a few months of no contact can really give him the best chance to heal.”
The 30-year-old offered a window into the future for Martin as he sets about his own slow recovery.
“For me personally, I’ve been able to recover fully from my end,” he confirmed.
“I lost a portion of my kidney, but in terms of my life function it’s completely normal, and I don’t think you want to put that in jeopardy for anything.
“He’ll just be there, taking it easy and listening to the best advice, and I’m expecting and hoping he makes a full recovery.”