HAWTHORN faces the prospect of losing a star defender to a serious knee injury for the second year running, with James Sicily going down late in Sunday's loss to West Coast.

EAGLES v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats 

Coach Alastair Clarkson said post-game that Sicily's right knee would be scanned on Tuesday, but that he had suffered a medial or anterior cruciate ligament setback.

00:32 Mins
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Horror Hawk news as Sicily hurts knee

Hawthorn have been dealt a cruel blow late in the game with gun defender James Sicily leaving the ground after appearing to injure his knee

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"We're uncertain at this stage. He's got an unstable knee, so that's not a good sign," Clarkson said.

"We'll get that scanned in Adelaide on Tuesday and see where it goes, but the mechanism didn't look great and the fact he has instability there – it can't be confirmed until the scan, but it's looking uncomfortable for us and for 'Sis'. 

"It's always disappointing … He's a pretty resilient lad and these things happen in footy. You've just got to deal with that and get yourself back when you can. 

"It's either a medial or an ACL, so cross our fingers and hope for the best and see what the outcome is – but he'll miss a period of time, no matter what." 

11:38 Mins
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Clarkson: Sicily's knee 'either a medial or ACL'

Watch Hawthorns press conference after round 12's match against West Coast

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Hawk Jarman Impey underwent a knee reconstruction in July last year and finally made his senior return more than 12 months later.

The 32-point defeat was the Hawks' seventh from 11 games this season, and means they're almost certain to miss finals for the third year in the past four.

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Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass constantly repelled Hawthorn's forward forays, while Josh Kennedy, Liam Ryan and Jack Darling gave the Hawks' backline headaches.

Young defenders Jack Scrimshaw and Will Day were two of the bright spots against the Eagles, while the inclusions of Conor Glass and Changkuoth Jiath appears to be a sign of things to come. 

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Clarkson said his side "wasn't disgraced at all" and was encouraged at the way his players fought the contest out, especially after conceding three quick goals after half-time.

"We're disappointed we lost, but we got a chance to play some more young players," he said.

"We've got some other lads who played in a scrimmage against West Coast reserves this morning, so we'll keep trying to find some players for our group. We're just having a little bit of a bad patch.

"Sis misses, Isaac (Smith) is out. Some of our leaders and better players might miss some footy, but it will give some opportunities to some younger players and we'll see where we go."

West Coast coach Adam Simpson wasn't always pleased with his own team's performance throughout the day, but said the Eagles would "take the win and we'll move on". 

They have injury concerns of their own, with back-to-back club champion Elliot Yeo a late withdrawal – and he's potentially dealing with osteitis pubis. 

Jack Redden (adductor) also hurt himself in Sunday's game, although Simpson said it wasn't serious, while Jake Waterman (broken hand) and Liam Duggan (hamstring) missed the contest. 

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Watch West Coast's press conference after round 12's match against Hawthorn

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Duggan could return next week, while Mark Hutchings (toe) will push to do the same, but the news is far worse for big man Nathan Vardy.

Vardy is in hospital with compartment syndrome after sustaining a bad bleed from a corked thigh in the scratch match against the Hawks and may miss a large chunk of the season.

Simpson said West Coast had only six or seven players available to compete in the practice game, with Hawthorn having to lend players to the Eagles. 

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They will play five matches in 19 days, starting with Greater Western Sydney next Sunday and including moving back into a Queensland hub from round 14 on.

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"We've got guys coming back, but just at the moment we've had a bad run," Simpson said. 

"At the moment, all we can worry about is next week, so we have the Giants and we get to play in front of our crowd again, which we've really appreciated. 

"We're going to miss them when we travel, but we'll take on the Giants, then worry about that compressed fixture and all that's in front of us later on."