Nick Watson during Hawthorn's training session at Waverley Park on March 28, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

HAWTHORN key forward Mitch Lewis will miss a fifth game this weekend, but the Hawks could regain small forwards Nick Watson and Luke Breust for the clash against the Western Bulldogs. 

Lewis was a late withdrawal ahead of Sunday's loss to Sydney at the MCG, after being medically cleared to play on Friday before pulling up sore on Saturday. 

The 25-year-old underwent a scan on Monday that cleared him of structural damage to his knee, but the club has opted to reduce his training load over the next week to help improve the joint pain.

Lewis hasn't played since straining his hamstring on Easter Monday, experiencing another frustrating run with his body to start 2024. 

Hawthorn will reassess the key forward next week but Lewis is no guarantee to be available for the trip to Launceston to face St Kilda at University of Tasmania Stadium. 

Denver Grainger-Barras, Mitch Lewis and Sam Mitchell during Hawthorn's training session at Waverley Park on April 19, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Sam Mitchell's side will face the Bulldogs without Lewis and Mabior Chol after the off-season recruit accepted a one-game suspension for striking Sydney star Errol Gulden on Sunday. 

Watson has missed the past month since suffering a syndesmosis injury against the Cats in round three. 

The 2023 pick No.5 will need to prove his fitness across Hawthorn's two main training sessions this week but is heading in the right direction to return and could be back ahead of schedule. 

Breust has also missed the past four games due to a lingering groin issue that has hampered him across the past couple of months. 

Luke Breust handballs under pressure from Zach Guthrie during the R3 match between Hawthorn and Geelong at the MCG on April 1, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The two-time All-Australian is in the same boat as Watson, with the club hopeful the veteran will be available for selection. 

Massimo D'Ambrosio is expected to be available after being managed against the Swans on the weekend. 

The former Bomber has made a strong start to life at Waverley Park and is rated by Champion Data as the No.3 wingman after seven rounds.