Hawthorn cops fresh pre-season injury blow

Hawks wingman Harry Morrison limped out of training on Monday morning. DANIEL CHERNY has the latest from Hawthorn pre-season.

Hawthorn looks to have been dealt a fresh injury blow, with wingman Harry Morrison limping off the track on Monday morning.

Morrison, who capped a career-best season in 2022 with a top-10 best and fairest finish, was unable to complete the session at La Trobe University after pulling up awkwardly during match simulation. He had ice applied to his right hamstring and was set to be assessed following the session.

Morrison’s scare followed the ACL sprain to key forward Mitch Lewis earlier this month. Lewis, who starred for the Hawks in 2022, is out indefinitely, with the Hawks set to monitor his progress in the hope he does not require surgery.

Veteran Chad Wingard was relegated to water-carrier duties at training as the club manages his loads following a strong pre-season.

Emerging key defender Denver Grainger-Barras was absent due to illness.

Midfielders Conor Nash and Josh Ward both trained on Monday following recent niggles, but Josh Morris remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.

With Lewis likely to be sidelined for at least the start of the season and Jack Gunston having been traded to Brisbane, the Hawks have been trialling ruckmen Lloyd Meek and Max Lynch through the forward line, with both having stints as marking targets on Monday.

Swingman Emerson Jeka also played forward during what was an extended match simulation, as did off-season recruit and former Western Bulldog Fergus Greene.

Jacob Koschitzke spearheaded the other side in a “gold v brown” scratch match, where the sides were relatively well-matched.

AFLW assistant coach and former Hawk Keegan Brooskby bolstered the tall stocks in the match in the absence of Grainger-Barras and Lewis.

James Worpel and Jai Newcombe were typically industrious in the midfield, complemented by the run of Will Day, while Finn Maginness showed his dash on the outside.

Rookie Josh Bennetts ended the session with ice applied to his calf but did not look overly troubled, while ruckman Ned Reeves had ice on his shoulder at the end of the session following season-ending surgery last year.

The Hawks open their 2023 campaign against Essendon on March 19.

Daniel ChernyStaff writer

Daniel Cherny is a Melbourne sportswriter, focusing on AFL and cricket. Having started his career at Back Page Lead, Daniel spent eight years at The Age, during which time he covered Australian Test cricket tours of Bangladesh and the UAE, as well as the 2016 Rio Olympics. He has been recognised for both his AFL and cricket writing, including winning the Clinton Grybas Rising Star Award at the 2019 Australian Football Media Association Awards. He is also a compulsive Simpsons quoter.

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