HAWTHORN is sweating on the fitness of Jack Gunston, with coach Alastair Clarkson suggesting the 22-year-old may miss up to a fortnight after suffering a lower leg injury against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.

The important forward limped from the field during the final quarter and was unable to return to the fray, with Clarkson admitting the nature of the injury remained unclear in the immediate aftermath of his side’s 62-point win in Launceston.

"He twisted his leg and we’re not sure if it’s an ankle or a knee at this point," Clarkson said. "We’ll get that assessed throughout the course of the week.

"If he’s a little bit sore when he gets the scan then he may miss, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

"I don’t think it’s anything significant but if he misses a week or two - it sounds like I’m flippant about it in a sense when I say ‘so be it’ - but it’s the way you’ve got to be the way footy is played."

Matt Suckling, among the Hawks' best with 28 disposals, suggested Gunston's setback wasn't serious.

"I saw him having a sook there before - a bit of ice on the ankle. I think he got kicked in the shin, but I'm sure he'll be fine," Suckling laughed.

Gunston had booted three goals for the afternoon but largely played second fiddle to Jarryd Roughed, who was the outstanding player on the field with six majors in another dominant display at Aurora Stadium.

Roughed booted two of his six goals during an opening quarter that saw the Hawks surge to a four-goal lead before the Bulldogs lifted.

Clarkson said he was particularly impressed with the way his side was able to dominate contested possessions and comfortably win the clearance count, highlighting both areas as ‘key’ for the Hawks going into the match. 

"We needed to focus on some areas of the game, particularly against a Western Bulldogs side that are really strong at contested footy and clearances and we managed to win those two areas handsomely by the end of the day," he said.

"That was the key focus for us. We thought if we could win that area of the game it would go a long way to us winning."

The Hawks were forced to replace both Sam Mitchell (flu) and Isaac Smith (calf) ahead of Sunday’s match but both should be fit for selection against the Demons next Saturday, news that will please Hawks fans given the cloud hanging over Gunston.

“It’s hardly ideal that they pull out 24 hours prior to the game but someone’s got to pull on the jumper and perform the role that those guys were going to do for the side (but) we were able to cover pretty well for those guys today," Clarkson said.

“If ‘Gunno’ happens to miss a week we’ll just roll with the punches and see how it goes.”
After the clash against Melbourne, the Hawks play Fremantle in Perth, Geelong at the MCG and Collingwood at the MCG.