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Second ACL blow for young Hawk midfielder

Matt Thompson and Ashley Browne  January 14, 2013 10:28 AM

AFL 2011 Training - Hawthorn 281111

Hawthorn midfielder Alex Woodward

Alex ... is understandably devastated by this setback

YOUNG Hawthorn midfielder Alex Woodward will likely spend another season on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury at training on Monday.

Woodward landed awkwardly during a training session at Waverley Park, with the Hawks confirming he had torn the graft on his repaired anterior cruciate ligament.

Taking part in match simulation, Woodward spent several minutes on the ground before being helped to the boundary in the hands of trainers.

A short time later the visibly devastated midfielder was accompanied by officials and teammate Brendan Whitecross – also recovering from a torn ACL - up the race.

The 19-year-old first injured the same knee during a NAB Cup game against Greater Western Sydney at Aurora Stadium last February.

"Alex has trained exceptionally well this pre-season and is understandably devastated by this setback," said Hawthorn's general manager of football operations, Mark Evans.

"To suffer two knee injuries so early in his career is not only unlucky but also presents Alex with a huge challenge. We are certain Alex’s strong character will get him through this tough period and as a club we will offer both him and his family a great deal of support.

"Alex approached his initial rehabilitation with absolute professionalism and enthusiasm and we expect he will take the same approach again this time."

The tough inside midfielder was on track to resume with Hawthorn next month in the club's NAB Cup openers against Gold Coast and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium.

High hopes were held that he would play senior football this year, with a view to one day replacing star midfielders Sam Mitchell and Brad Sewell in the Hawks' engine room.

It capped off a grim few days for the Hawks, who are also dealing with the arrest for public intoxication of boom recruit, former Western Bulldogs full-back Brian Lake, in Sorrento at the weekend.