Richmond Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has revealed Dustin Martin is in a much better place but says the club cannot put a time-frame on his return to the Tigers side.
Richmond are priced at 5/6 to finish in the eight this season and would love nothing more than to have Martin back in their side.
Martin was granted some personal leave by the Tigers as he attempts to come to terms with the loss of his father. He has been spending some time in Sydney but is now back in Melbourne.
That has fuelled hope Martin could return to action sooner rather than later but Hardwick has played down such expectations.
"We're reluctant to provide a running commentary but what we do know is he's in a better space," Hardwick told reporters.
"When we know more we certainly will give you guys more information but at this stage it's the same as it has been."
Meanwhile the Tigers have been boosted by the news Kane Lambert looks set to play his first game of the season against Melbourne on Sunday. But Hardwick accepts he will not be fully up to speed.
"He's a pretty fit guy overall, footy-wise he hasn't played a lot, but we're pretty confident that what he can bring is going to be pretty good," Hardwick added.
"He's just such an important guy to our club. He's a coach on and off the field and just a wonderful ambassador for us with the way he plays the game."