Mitch Lewis at Hawthorn training at Waverley Park, April 19, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

HAWTHORN key forward Mitch Lewis could return next weekend after taking a step forward in his recovery from a lingering knee injury, while Sam Mitchell faces a handful of selection headaches ahead of Saturday’s game against Greater Western Sydney. 

Lewis hasn’t played since the Easter Monday loss to Geelong, where he was substituted out of the game due to a hamstring injury before the knee cartilage issue flared up. 

The 25-year-old has missed the past nine games and has endured a period without a return date, but the Hawks now expect Lewis to be available within the next two games. 

Hawthorn has its mid-season bye after the trip down to Launceston to face the Giants and may opt to hold Lewis back to give him extra time to prepare for the nine-game block in the back end of the year. 

After starting the season 0-5, Hawthorn has recovered to 5-7 after putting Adelaide and Brisbane’s seasons on the brink across the past fortnight with two strong performances that have the Hawks still in finals contention in June. 

Ruckman Lloyd Meek might still need another week to recover from an ankle injury but will push his case for a spot on Thursday after missing the win over the Crows due to a low-grade syndesmosis injury. 

Lloyd Meek and Oscar McInerney during the round 11 match between Hawthorn and Brisbane at Marvel Stadium, May 26, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Ned Reeves was recalled in Meek’s absence, injured his ankle and played out the game, before being cleared of damage post-game, presenting a selection decision for Hawthorn’s match committee. 

The Hawks have a handful of players in strong form at VFL level, including 2023 pick No. 5 Nick Watson, who kicked 4.3 from 22 disposals in his first appearance for Box Hill after being managed in round 11. 

Dual All-Australian Chad Wingard also slotted four goals in his most complete performance since returning from a ruptured Achilles tendon in April. The veteran forward has now played five VFL games and was even considered as the sub last weekend, before more game time at Box Hill was chosen as his best path back to a regular senior berth. 


Max Ramsden produced a dominant performance in the 72-point win over Essendon’s reserves at Windy Hill, amassing 27 hit-outs, 23 disposals, nine marks, six clearances and two goals as he hunts another opportunity at AFL level. 

After opting against recalling Finn Maginness for a tagging role on Adelaide captain Jordan Dawson, Maginness collected 39 touches, eight clearances and kicked a goal in a dominant display. 

Harry Morrison finished with 36 disposals and nine marks, while former top-10 pick Josh Ward collected 33 touches and nine marks. 

Pre-season supplemental selection period signing Ethan Phillips didn’t play for Box Hill on the weekend after a knee issue flared up last week and will now be sidelined in the short-term. 

The Hawks are investigating to see if surgery is required but don’t expect the key defender to be available in the coming weeks.