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Luckless ex-Hawk suffers fourth ACL tear

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FORMER Hawthorn midfielder Alex Woodward has been crushed by the news he requires a fourth knee reconstruction, but is determined to overcome his latest setback. 

The 23-year-old was delisted by the Hawks at the end of last year and signed with Collingwood's VFL side in time for 2017 in a bid to reignite his AFL career.

He made just two appearances for Hawthorn – in rounds 18 and 19, 2014 – after being recruited by the club with pick No.53 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft. 

Woodward, who returned from his third knee reconstruction late last season after going down in July 2015 playing in the VFL, took to social media on Monday night to reveal his latest heartbreaking injury.

"Today was a tough day. The news of needing to go through another knee reconstruction all over again is exhausting in so many ways for me and my loved ones," Woodward posted on Twitter. 

"Coming to terms with what has happened will not be easy and quite painful for a while.

"Sometimes the only way to start again is to accept defeat no matter how difficult that may be."

The ex-Hawk added returning to the field was no longer his main concern. 

"My priority will not be returning to play football but will be what is best for me and my body in the long run," Woodward wrote.

"I pride myself on my resilience, and I know I will be OK and overcome this one way or another. 

"I appreciate all of the support."

Woodward first ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a pre-season game against Greater Western Sydney in February 2012.

The 181cm midfielder re-injured the same knee at training nearly a year later in mid-January 2013. 

Woodward enjoyed an impressive return from the two knee reconstructions in 2014, winning the J.J. Liston Trophy as the VFL's best player.