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Star Hawk out of AFLX, Mitchell no chance of '19 return

Mitchell's shock return to training track Mitch Cleary and Nat Edwards with an update on Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell's recovery from a broken leg.

CELEBRATED Hawthorn recruit Chad Wingard's lingering calf problem has ruled him out of the Hawks' intraclub match on Wednesday and next week's realestate.com.au AFLX tournament.

The ex-Port Adelaide forward will also miss Hawthorn's practice match against Carlton at Ikon Park on Thursday week.

AFL.com.au reported Wingard's injury in late January and it was considered minor at the time, but the setback has continued to sideline him at training.

The dual All Australian again did little at Waverley Park on Saturday, leaving the track briefly at one stage before returning to complete some boxing exercises.

Hawks football boss Graham Wright confirmed that Wingard would not be available for the scheduled hit-outs in the next fortnight.

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"We won't see Chad," Wright told the club's website.

"He's taking a little bit longer than what we would have expected (for) a really minor calf issue he had, but we're just going to be really cautious with him, so he won't play (on Wednesday) night.

"He (also) won't play in AFLX at this stage due to the injury. With a high-intensity game, in relation to AFLX, we wouldn't put him out there for that.

"We have a practice game next week ourselves and he won't play in that, either."

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Wingard was supposed to be one of Eddie Betts' key members in the Team Deadly squad for Friday week's event at Marvel Stadium, but he joins Steven May (hamstring) in withdrawing.

Exciting Gold Coast talent Jack Martin will replace Wingard while Fremantle defender Joel Hamling is also hurt and will miss for Deadly, with his spot taken by Dockers teammate Nathan Wilson.

 

Jack Gunston and Jaeger O'Meara (both managed) will play only limited game time in the intraclub contest, which will feature 38 of Hawthorn's 46 listed footballers.

Among those who won't play are fellow big names Tom Scully (ankle), Grant Birchall (knee) and Tom Mitchell, who Wright confirmed won't play again this season after breaking his leg in a training incident in January.

Draftees Jacob Koschitzke and Mathew Walker have had restricted pre-seasons, second-year player Changkuoth Jiath ran laps on Saturday, and Shaun Burgoyne and Ben Stratton were other limited participants.

Rookie Will Golds left the field gingerly after a heavy knock in match simulation two Fridays ago and didn't take part in competitive drills at the weekend.

Scully demonstrated encouraging progress with some strong running in the same session, but Wright said he and Birchall, whose last AFL appearance was in round 15, 2017, were still some way off playing.

"Tom (Mitchell)'s about five weeks now post his injury, so he is progressing well – he's walking, he's off the crutches – but obviously he won't play for the remainder of 2019," Wright said.

"Tom Scully and Grant Birchall are progressing really well – we're happy where they're at right at the moment – but they're both a fair way off actually playing games and joining in training.

"We'd expect to see them joining training hopefully in the next month or so."

The Hawks are heading interstate for both their JLT Community Series games, against Brisbane (March 3 at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex) and Richmond (March 9 at UTAS Stadium).

The travel factor and six-day break will see Hawthorn rotate players throughout the Carlton practice game and its two JLT clashes. 

Wednesday's intraclub match starts at 5.15pm at Waverley Park.