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Hawks consider defensive trio

07/05/2009 11:42:16 AM Comments (0)

Hawthorn are considering rushing back three defenders from injury to stiffen their backline for Friday night's AFL clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson confirmed premiership players Xavier Ellis, Stephen Gilham and Grant Birchall were all in line for recalls to play the Bombers.

Clarkson said Ellis was "nearly right to go" following a foot injury, while Gilham (knee) and Birchall, whose broken thumb has healed, look almost certain inclusions.

"We're anticipating Birchall and Gilham, maybe Ellis may be available for us," Clarkson said on Thursday.

"We just need to make a decision post-training today whether to bring them straight back or through Box Hill (reserves).

"Gilham and Ellis I think have played one or two games in 10 or 12 weeks, so we have to make a decision how many players we want to have in our side with limited game time."

Hawthorn's defence, which was without four of its premiership-winning back six against Carlton, struggled to cope with the Blues' late rally last weekend before surviving for a four-point win.

The Hawks will name their team later on Thursday.

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