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July 19, 2013 11:45 AM

No Buddy return date Alastair Clarkson reveals he's not sure when Lance Franklin will return from a knee injury
LANCE Franklin's return to the Hawthorn side is still unknown.
 
The Hawks boarded a flight for Launceston on Friday morning without their star forward, who is set to miss his second straight game when Hawthorn takes on the Western Bulldogs at Aurora Stadium on Saturday.
 
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said Franklin is dealing with a burst bursa – a small sac of fluid behind his knee – which has bled down to his calf.
 
Clarkson was unable to give a definitive return date for the star forward.
 
"We're not really certain at this point," Clarkson said at Melbourne Airport on Friday.
 
"He's had two before and they've settled really quickly and he's been able to play that week, and we thought that was going to be the case last week.
 
"But it wasn't able to fix itself up this week, either.
 
"So we're hopeful it's going to be pretty quick, but we just don't know."

The Hawks recently upped their contract offer to Franklin, with the club hopeful the new five-year proposal will see the star forward turn his back on free agency.
 
But Clarkson said the club would prefer to wind up negotiations before finals.
 
"Bud's indicated all along that he wanted to leave it until the end of the year and we'd like to get it settled earlier than that," Clarkson said.
 
"But whether or not he considers that in the next couple of weeks we'll have to wait and see."
 
Cyril Rioli (ankle) was on the flight to Tasmania and Clarkson said he was a certain starter, while Brad Sewell was the Hawks' travelling emergency.
 
However, Clarkson said Sewell was "unlikely" to play, unless a player suffered an injury in the warm up or fell ill overnight.
 
Hawthorn's VFL affiliate Box Hill is will face the Northern Blues at Box Hill on Saturday afternoon at nearly an identical time to when the AFL side plays in Launceston.
 
That means Sewell will need to prove his worth at training in his bid to return to the senior side.
 
Will Langford, son of Hawks great Chris, will also make his debut against the Bulldogs.