HAWTHORN will hold injured midfielder Jaeger O'Meara out of contact training until the week of round two before contemplating whether he needs to play with headwear.
The 26-year-old suffered a small facial fracture above one of his eyebrows in a training incident on Monday and is in some doubt to face Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on June 12.
O'Meara won't require surgery to fix the problem but the Hawks will be guided by medical advice before ramping his training up again.
"He just got a really slight facial fracture but you can't muck around with those, either," Clarkson told reporters.
"It's an incident that's probably happened so many times and most of the time you actually split a bit of skin, rather than have a tiny little fracture.
"Jaeger, if you saw him and watched him train, you'd think there was nothing wrong with him.
A few videos to come from the Hawks’ training session, including plenty of match simulation pic.twitter.com/IKu8X9u3ik— Marc McGowan (@ByMarcMcGowan) May 29, 2020
"The challenge will probably be holding him back a bit … because he's raring to go, like 700, 800 other players are."
Clarkson joked about contacting club great Jason Dunstall to see if they could borrow his famed "crash cap", although noting "the big Chief's might be a bit too big for Jaeger".
Hawthorn completed some match simulation after the coach's media conference on Friday, and he said how the players recovered from session to session would determine the program
"We have some ideas on when we want to have some contact over the course of the next two weeks but just when that is will really depend on how our players pull up from each session," Clarkson said.
"Because even a running session and some of the speed work and agility work we've been doing, it's not contact but that's probably increased the intensity over the last week.
"Needless to say, at some point between now and a fortnight's time, when we face the Cats down at Kardinia Park, we're going to need to have done some full-on match practice."
Clarkson echoed Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge's comments that the extra staff clubs can put in place, as of Thursday, will likely be used on medical and fitness employees.
The four-time premiership coach also weighed in on former player-turned-Swan Lance Franklin's serious hamstring injury that will sideline him for much of the season.
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"I think when anyone is 33 years of age, the best of them as a footballer is probably behind them rather than in front, but he's been such a freakish talent, so I wouldn't write him off, by any means," Clarkson said.
"I know his resilience, I know his passion for the game, and he's had the best part of 12 months now where it's been tough for him. But I know him very well as a person.
"He's made fantastic contributions at both the Hawthorn and Sydney footy clubs, and I think he's a long way from finishing up his time. This is just a hurdle he has to overcome.
"He's just having a tough moment at the present time but he'll overcome that and get back to playing some footy."