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AFL 2017 Round 01 - Essendon v Hawthorn

Taylor Duryea is one of four ins for the Hawks this week

HAWTHORN has enough in-form players to cover its growing list of sidelined stars, according to coach Alastair Clarkson.

The Hawks learned this week Cyril Rioli (PCL), Ben Stratton (knee bone bruising) and James Frawley (turf toe) would all be sidelined for significant stretches, joining players such as Grant Birchall (knee), Jaeger O'Meara (knee) and Jon Ceglar (ACL) on the club's lengthy injury list.

Hawthorn's backline, in particular, has been decimated recently, with Frawley, Stratton and Birchall all key members of the back six.

But Clarkson told reporters on Friday he was confident the Hawks could cover the loss of Stratton and Frawley against Collingwood on Saturday night with "like for like" replacements Taylor Duryea and Kaiden Brand.

The Hawks coach also said recruit Ty Vickery was well-placed to make the most of his senior recall after a solid stretch of form in the VFL.

"We're pretty fortunate that Box Hill have been playing some good footy," Clarkson said.

"They're 5-0 under Chris Newman in his first year as coach and he's got the Box Hill boys playing really well, which is timely for us with some injuries coming out of last week's game.

"We've got some guys that have been playing some good footy at Box Hill level that can step in and get their chance this weekend."

Vickery has been out of favour since kicking just one goal and taking only five marks in the Hawks' opening three rounds.

Clarkson said the former Richmond spearhead had shown the right attitude since being demoted.

"He's been playing quite well. He's kicked 11 or 12 goals in three or four games down there and he, like the side, just wasn't playing very well in the first four rounds of the season," Clarkson said.

"Both he at Box Hill and the (senior) side in the last three or four weeks have played a little bit better, so I'm really pleased that he gets his opportunity to play this week and see how he goes. 

"He's an experienced player, a respected member of two clubs now. He was highly regarded at Richmond and he is here as well.

"He went back (to the VFL) in the right manner, played some good footy and hopefully that transfers into playing some good footy (for Hawthorn), because he has played a lot of good senior footy over eight years of playing AFL.

"We're hopeful he'll come in and do a good job for us."

Clarkson said Rioli would not require surgery to the knee he injured cannoning into the back of Lion Josh Walker last Saturday, but the Hawks still expected him to miss 8-12 weeks.

O'Meara played in the opening three rounds – his first senior games since rupturing his patella tendon in a 2015 NEAFL practice match – but has taken the field just once since, in the Hawks' round six loss to St Kilda.

Clarkson said the Hawks remained unsure when O'Meara would return, but were hopeful a solid block of training would have ready to play within the next month.