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Star Hawk recruit set for playing return, new blow for veteran

Why Jack was mobbed, Tom's test, gun Saint now in R1 frame The Footy Feed team with all the latest news

HAWTHORN recruit Tom Scully is set make his return to the football field in the next few weeks, while veteran teammate Grant Birchall has suffered a setback.

Scully hasn't played since round two last year, when he suffered a serious right ankle injury when playing for the Giants.

But he is a chance to return to competitive football, most likely through the VFL, in the next two to three weeks.

"I'm feeling pretty well at the moment," Scully told the club website. 

"The last couple of months have been really positive in my rehab phase. The prospect of being back playing in a couple of weeks is very exciting."

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Scans in the aftermath of the injury showed a fractured fibula and a syndesmosis injury, which required surgery.

Initially the midfielder was expected to be sidelined for about 12 weeks.

However serious bone bruising and cartilage damage complicated the healing process, forcing the 27-year-old to miss the rest of the 2018 season.

With his immediate playing future in doubt, he was then traded to Hawthorn in October last year for a future fourth-round pick.

Scully resumed running in December and has been back in full training now for several weeks, even taking part in some match simulation a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile four-time premiership defender Grant Birchall has suffered yet another minor injury setback.

Birchall had been making good progress from a troublesome knee issue which has sidelined him since round 15, 2017.

However a calf injury sustained at training on Friday last week is now threatening to derail his return.

"Grant's been in the skills program for about four weeks now, [but] he has a minor calf issue at the moment," Hawks physical performance manager Luke Boyd said.

"Unfortunately when you've been out of the game for a long period of time, sometimes these things pop up, so we'll manage him over the next couple of weeks."