Mitch Lewis celebrates a goal during the round two match between Hawthorn and Melbourne at the MCG, March 23, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN is weighing up whether to recall Mitch Lewis for the trip to Perth or leave him in Melbourne to play for Box Hill again, while Chad Wingard is on track to resume his season this weekend.

Lewis played half a VFL game before the mid-season bye – his first game since Easter Monday – and recovered well after missing 10 weeks due to a knee cartilage issue that derailed his start to 2024. 

With nine games to play in the home and away season – plus a potential September return – Hawthorn wants to set Lewis up to play a chunk of football across the next few months. If Box Hill didn't have the bye last weekend, he would have banked a full game and been locked in for an AFL return. 

The Hawks will decide later in the week whether to keep the key forward in Melbourne to bank a full game against Port Melbourne on Saturday or unleash him against West Coast at Optus Stadium on Sunday. 

Wingard was sidelined before the bye due to calf tightness that resulted in his sixth game back at VFL level ending early, but will return for Box Hill if he completes training this week.

The 30-year-old hasn't played at AFL level since rupturing his Achilles against the Western Bulldogs in round 22 last year and is pushing his case for a contract extension in 2025. 


Pre-season supplemental selection period signing Ethan Phillips is also expected to play in the VFL this weekend after undergoing an arthroscope on his knee earlier this month. 

Ruckman Ned Reeves will need to prove his fitness later in the week due to a lingering back issue that surfaced when he was subbed out of the win over Greater Western Sydney in round 13. 

Father-son recruit Will McCabe is still at least a week away from playing in the VFL for the first time since being selected at pick No.19 in last November's Telstra AFL Draft. The 18-year-old has been sidelined since January with bone stress in his lower back. 

Will McCabe after being drafted by Hawthorn in 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Hawthorn is 13th on the ladder after 15 rounds, just a game outside the eight after four straight wins ahead of the bye. 

Hawthorn hasn't beaten West Coast – or Fremantle – at Optus Stadium since 2019, but could draw level with sides inside the eight if it wins on Sunday.