EVERGREEN veteran Shaun Burgoyne is the first casualty of the compressed AFL fixture, with Hawthorn unwilling to risk the 37-year-old on a five-day turnaround.
Burgoyne had his quietest game for the season in Sunday night's loss to Greater Western Sydney, and the Hawks will rest him from Friday night's big clash with Collingwood at Giants Stadium.
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Jon Patton will return from a foot infection to replace fellow key forward Mitch Lewis (hamstring/hip), while defender Jack Scrimshaw is set to miss the next month with an ankle injury.
In better news, Jarman Impey will have his first competitive hitout since his knee reconstruction a year ago in a reserves scratch match against GWS on Saturday morning.
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With the brief break between games and plenty of moving parts, Hawthorn could be primed to make some surprise decisions at the selection table.
The AFL released the schedule through next week's matches but there may be a fixture cram after that, with 10 Victorian clubs based elsewhere for the next 30-odd days because of the COVID-19 crisis.
"Most clubs have got anywhere from 45 to 47 (players) on their list, so it just might mean you have to push deeper into your squad," Clarkson said.
"Off a five-day break, we don't think it's a wise decision for (Burgoyne) to back up in that period of time for a whole heap of reasons.
"Those sorts of decisions will be made by clubs on a frequent basis, the shorter the breaks are, and we need to be mindful of that."
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The rush to relocate interstate impacted Hawthorn more than any other, Clarkson said – referring to playing GWS in Sydney on Sunday night – and he was unsure how much it contributed to the defeat.
The Hawks have since flown in select families of their footballers, including those of Burgoyne, Ben McEvoy, Isaac Smith, James Frawley, Paul Puopolo and Michael Hartley.
Clarkson was effusive in his praise for the way the AFL has accommodated clubs and presented training options in the difficult situation.
"We've got significant implications for the game, in terms of its future, if we don't try and get these games out reasonably quickly," he said.
"We just need to be really balanced in that and we'll do whatever the AFL sees fit to do."
As for Impey, who turned 25 on Thursday, Clarkson said him playing this weekend was a significant milestone in his recovery.
"He's an important player for us and he's done a really good rehab," the four-time premiership coach said.
"His next step is just to play a bit of competitive scrimmage work against the GWS boys, then we'll see where it goes from there."
Clarkson gave nothing away with his plans for McEvoy, who spent parts of last week playing up forward and in the ruck after struggling in defence for the first time since his positional switch.
The Magpies are poised to drop Mason Cox for Will Kelly, who will make his senior debut, and typically operate with a medium-sized attack.