Will Day in action during the R16 match between Hawthorn and Carlton at the MCG on July 2, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

REIGNING Peter Crimmins medallist Will Day is set to miss at least another five games due to the foot injury that has sidelined him since the start of January. 

The 22-year-old is aiming to return for the round seven clash against Sydney at the MCG after undergoing a scheduled check-up scan on Tuesday.

Day hasn't trained with the main group since a stress fracture was discovered in his foot following Hawthorn's first session back after the Christmas break. 


Hawthorn was initially optimistic the game-breaking midfielder wouldn't miss more than the first four games, but have opted to take a conservative approach with the midfielder, given the nature of the injury. 

The South Australian has been running on the Alter-G treadmill across the past fortnight and will transition on to grass this week, commencing a conditioning block that will aim to have him ready to return to action by the end of April.

Day established himself as one of the best young midfielders in the AFL last season, winning a maiden best and fairest in a season where the West Adelaide product turned his back on significant rival interest to re-sign with the Hawks until the end of 2027.

Will Day flies for a mark over Kamdyn McIntosh during the R19 clash between Hawthorn and Richmond at the MCG on July 22, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Sam Mitchell's squad was afflicted by injuries in February, losing key defenders James Blanck (ruptured ACL), Denver Grainger-Barras (turf toe) and Will McCabe (back) to long-term injuries, while Changkuoth Jiath (hamstring) also sustained another soft-tissue injury that will delay his start to 2024. 

Vice-captain Dylan Moore was also diagnosed with glandular fever last month, but made a stunning return against Essendon in round one, kicking three goals to earn coaches votes. 

Dual All-Australian Chad Wingard is on the cusp of returning to full training after rupturing his Achilles tendon late last season and is aiming to return to action in May. 

The 30-year-old will then require a few weeks in the VFL to build his match fitness but should provide a boost midway through the season. 

Hawthorn could be without skipper James Sicily for Saturday's twilight clash against Melbourne at the MCG after the All-Australian was hit with a one-game suspension for kicking Essendon defender Andrew McGrath last weekend. 

After missing four games through suspension last year for two separate incidents, the star key defender is challenging the ban at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night. 


If Sicily fails to overturn the suspension, mature-age recruit Ethan Phillips is in the frame to make his debut against the Demons, just a month after he was signed on the final day of the pre-season supplemental selection period. 

With Blanck and Grainger-Barras sidelined with long-term injuries, the 24-year-old was added to the rookie list last month before being named as an emergency in round one.