Why Tigers’ ‘Batman’ can’t get any LeBron love
HE'S the man in the carbon-fibre mask.
And Dylan Grimes admits he is now even a little hesitant to take it off.
The Richmond defender suffered a gruesome broken nose at training last month - his fifth in recent times - thanks to a head clash with fellow defender Nathan Broad, who escaped unscathed.
The mask has been a fixture ever since, and Grimes said he isn't rushing to cast it aside as the JLT Community Series looms.
"When you're coming back from injury, no matter what it really is, you're a bit tentative," he said.
"You get this level of comfort from wearing the protection. I know a lot of players with mouthguards don't really want to play without it.
"At the moment, I don't really even want to train without it.
"It definitely still feels really raw and almost fragile … at the moment I'm pretty keen to keep it on and I'm not sure how long that feeling will last, but I certainly get over the sweat and sunscreen underneath it."
Normally it is a case of "take a deep breath, count to three" and the doctor "pops it straight back in with a bit of force", Grimes explained, but this time he needed surgery the following day.
"I wasn't too comfortable - I wasn't breathing too well out of it and it felt like a lot of pressure in my nose and sinus, so it was good to get it put back into place," he said, with the current timeline to wear the mask for a few more weeks.
"I was having a laugh with a few of the boys that my modelling career was over right before it was about to peak."
Set to get married in November, and joked that he would be wrapped in cotton wool in the lead-up to avoid the potential for a sixth break.
The 27-year-old's recovery has been smooth since he went under the knife, although he would have preferred a change in the nickname stakes given a similar mask was favoured by NBA superstar LeBron James in recent years.
"Batman' I'm getting quite a lot … Phantom of the Opera I get, as well," he laughed.
"They're the main ones. I was really hoping Lebron might get in over Batman, but I haven't got that yet."
Richmond has declared that "The Hunt Continues" this season, launching its membership campaign this week.
This season will be Grimes' 10th at the club, and he said the recent training camp on the Gold Coast was "the best that I've been on" as the team looks to avenge last year's preliminary final defeat.
"It was really great to spend some time with (new players from the draft and trade period) and getting to know them and them getting to know us," he said.
"The culture that we've been growing for such a long time … seeing that develop to another level was really great."
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