IT'S NOT clear how long Brad Sewell may take to break back into the Hawthorn side after being surprisingly dropped for Saturday's game against Port Adelaide.

The 29-year-old midfielder has been in patchy form, and according to his coach, the tough decision had to be made.

"He just hasn't been playing well enough," Alastair Clarkson told reporters at Melbourne Airport on Friday. 

"We've got high standards with the way that we play and Sewelly's just been a little bit scratchy for the last five or six weeks, it wasn't just his form last week."

"We've got guys underneath who are challenging for positions, and we just can't keep hanging on with guys who (aren't) performing at the level that we know that they can."

Sewell won't play any football this weekend. 

"Box Hill hasn't got a game this week, that's the unfortunate part about it," Clarkson said.

The coach indicated it was too early to know if Sewell would come into calculations for a return next week against the Western Bulldogs.

He said the veteran understood why the decision was made. 

"He's disappointed, but he's a leader of our club, he knows that his form hasn't been to the level that he's used to (have) been playing for a long period of time," he said. 

The Hawks will be looking to bounce back from their first loss in 13 weeks against Geelong last weekend.

"We were pretty disappointed with the way that we played last week. Our first quarter in particular, we didn't feel like we put any pressure on Geelong at all," Clarkson said.

"Port Adelaide are in really good form and they're difficult to beat on their home track."

"They've always been tough to beat in Adelaide, we know we're in for a real contest."

Rain is forecast for AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

Brent Guerra has been named in the Hawks side, the only change.

Matt Thompson is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter @MattThompsonAFL.