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Hawks' Gibson has week more in reserves

By Robert Grant 28/06/2010 04:18:40 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn defender Josh Gibson will have to wait one more week before he is available for senior selection as the Hawks prepare for a testing month.

Gibson has recovered from a hamstring injury and returned via the reserves at the weekend, but fellow backman Tom Murphy says it is unlikely he will line up against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Friday night.

"I went along and watched him yesterday at Box Hill and he did some really good stuff so he'll probably have some more game time this week in the VFL then come up for selection the week after," Murphy said.

"It's been a credit to him. He's done a lot of work with the rehab guys and got back quickly so there's a bit of a pat on the back for him."

Murphy says the side's ruck stocks will also be strengthened in coming weeks with the return of Max Bailey (knee) and Simon Taylor (broken leg).

"Max is getting there," he said.

"It's a long road and a well-trodden road for Max over the last couple of years. He's always ticking all the right boxes but I suppose he's still a number of weeks away.

"Simon Taylor is another one of our ruckmen who's doing well.

"He's starting to join the group in training so he's probably a couple of weeks away and that's encouraging."

The season has been one of puzzling contrasts for Hawthorn which hobbled to a 1-6 start to the year before regrouping and reeling off six wins in succession.

"After about round seven we were scratching our heads, looking for something that could turn us around and I think we just went back to the drawing board," Murphy said.

"It was a bit of hard work and a bit of individual soul-searching I suppose.

"It's more just a change of attitude. It was the way we were playing.

"The last couple of weeks we've been really competitive at each contest and it's no secret that's the way to win footy games.

"In the last 18 months we've had games where we've just tapered off - there's a whole list of possible reasons but the fact is we haven't been playing as well as we could have.

"But we've just been able to put it together in the last six weeks and we've all jumped on board."

While players like Gibson will be out to force their way back into the side Murphy called on his teammates to do all they could do keep them out by excelling on the field.

"We want to make it hard for guys like Josh Gibson and Rhan Hooper (out with a hamstring injury) and guys like this to get back in the team," he said.

After the Bulldogs, Hawthorn face premiers Geelong, Brisbane and St Kilda.

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