Chad Wingard at Hawthorn training at Waverley Park on April 19, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

HAWTHORN veteran Chad Wingard has hit a small hurdle in his comeback from a ruptured Achilles tendon, with his AFL return to be delayed by at least a couple of weeks. 

The two-time All-Australian was removed from a VFL game on Sunday after reporting tightness and is set to undergo further scans this week, but the club believes the issue is only minor.  

Wingard is expected to miss this weekend but could be available after Hawthorn's mid-season bye in round 15. 

The 30-year-old was closing in on an AFL return after playing five VFL games to start 2024 – he kicked four goals against Essendon's reserves on June 2 – before the setback at Box Hill City Oval. 

Key forward Mitch Lewis is on track to be available to play for the first time since Easter Monday this weekend. 

The 25-year-old will need to prove his fitness later in the week with the club understood to be considering a VFL return to manage his minutes ahead of the bye. 


Lewis trained fully on the weekend and is scheduled to train with the main group on Thursday before a decision is made on if and where he plays this weekend – Box Hill faces Richmond's VFL side at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday afternoon.

Ruckman Lloyd Meek is on track to return from the syndesmosis injury that has sidelined him across the past fortnight. 

The former Docker made progress over the weekend and would provide a big boost if he can return against Richmond at the MCG. 

Ned Reeves is unlikely to be available after being subbed out of Saturday's win over Greater Western Sydney at half-time due to back spasms. 

The Victorian remained in Launceston on Saturday night while the rest of the team drove down to Hobart due to the flight issues in that part of Tasmania.

Hawthorn has won five of its past six games to be in finals contention, despite starting 2024 winless after the first five rounds.