HAWTHORN star Chad Wingard is set to face Carlton at the MCG on Sunday after passing a fitness test at Waverley Park on Thursday.
The dual All-Australian was substituted out of last Saturday night's 64-point win over Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval after tweaking his hamstring late in the opening half.
Scans cleared Wingard of more serious damage early in the week, before the explosive forward completed training on Thursday to put his hand up to play.
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New Hawthorn senior coach Sam Mitchell said the Hawks decided to err on the side of caution in Adelaide, given Wingard's injury history.
"At this stage, we hope that he will be available. If gets through today then he will be available," Mitchell said on Thursday.
"I think it was difficult (to determine the severity) in the game. He had some signs and they weren’t exactly sure (how bad it was), so we were able to use the sub."
Mitchell said young gun Will Day is available for selection after returning from ankle surgery in the VFL over the past fortnight, but wouldn’t reveal whether the 2019 first round pick will play for Hawthorn or Box Hill on Sunday.
Day starred for Box Hill against Collingwood at Victoria Park last Sunday, after enduring a frustrating 2021 that was limited to only five senior games due to two separate ankle injuries.
"He will play this weekend; I'm not sure at this stage where he will play," he said.
"He got through a full game of VFL on the weekend so he will be available for selection."
Mitchell and the match committee won't need to spend any time worrying about the ruck situation this week, with new recruit Max Lynch ruled out for a second game due to the concussion he suffered against North Melbourne in round one.
With Ben McEvoy returning from health and safety protocols for the trip to South Australia and Ned Reeves making a decent start to the season, that selection conundrum will be parked until next week.
"Thankfully, that’s a problem for another day," Mitchell said.
"Lynch is still unavailable unfortunately. He entered concussion protocol, but he wasn’t symptom free until the middle of this week, so he won't play this week; he's still going to be another week until he finishes his concussion protocols."
James Sicily and Jack Gunston have both made seamless transitions back into the AFL after missing large chunks of football – Sicily didn’t play for 18 months, Gunston only played once in 2021 – but the emergence of Mitch Lewis across the first fortnight has been a clear highlight.
The 23-year-old is leading the Coleman Medal with North Melbourne's Nick Larkey and Sydney's Isaac Heeney after two rounds, adding 5.0 on Saturday night to the 3.1 he kicked from nine marks in the season-opener.
Mitchell said the young key forward is being rewarded for his application across four quarters, reaping the rewards for a career shifting pre-season.
"He knows that he's in a good vein of form and it's because of consistent effort which he's produced over a six-month period," he said.
"It's very difficult to be a consistent performer as a key forward. At some stage he'll have a down game but that won't make him lose or us lose any belief of what he's capable of becoming in the future.
"I think the most impressive thing has been consistency of effort. He had a game in pre-season where I think he had only five or six possessions, but it didn’t change his competitiveness in the game, so as long as he brings consistent effort, the games where he plays well and gets on the end of it will come but they are not going to be as consistent as every single game."
Mitchell and new Carlton coach Michael Voss enter Sunday's highly anticipated encounter at the MCG with unblemished records after winning both games to start the season.