Hawks hopeful of injured Rioli's return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks hopeful of injured Rioli's return

06/07/2009 07:43:39 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn are hopeful their injury concerns are about to ease, as livewire Cyril Rioli is rated a good chance to play against North Melbourne in a game the Hawks must win to reach the AFL finals.

The Hawks have lost their past three matches with Rioli on the sidelines and his pace and skill have been desperately missed.

Skipper Sam Mitchell expects the half-forward to return to play the Kangaroos in Launceston on Sunday, where the 11th-placed Hawks will aim to keep the top eight within reach.

"I think we get Cyril back this week, which will be good," Mitchell said on Monday.

In a further boost, key defender Trent Croad is training well, although he is still a few weeks off returning from the foot problems that have plagued him all season.

"Trent is getting closer. He has doing a fair bit of running and a bit of training over the last couple of weeks," Mitchell said.

Port Adelaide, who are also vying to close the gap on the sides in the eight, could also welcome back a key player this weekend, as utility Chad Cornes has declared himself ready to return against Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday.

Cornes has missed the past four games after he underwent knee surgery following the Power's defeat to Collingwood in round 10.

The veteran was expected to be sidelined for up to six games, but felt good after training on Sunday.

"We had a really big training session yesterday with some match simulation and a fair bit of running as well," Cornes said.

"The knee felt really good and has pulled up well.

"It's been really hard watching for the last month.

"When the team's not going well, it's not the best being on the sidelines.

"You want to go out and help the boys."

But Essendon have received a blow in their finals push, as half-forward Angus Monfries will miss the next two games through a hamstring injury.

Monfries left the ground in last Friday night's defeat to the Magpies, and Bombers coach Matthew Knights initially thought the problem was hamstring tightness, until scans confirmed the injury was worse.

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