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Hodge might be Hawthorn's first sub

Sam Lienert 21/03/2011 02:23:56 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge says he might be the AFL club's first substitute.

The new skipper played for the first time this pre-season on Friday, in a practice match with the Hawks' VFL affiliate Box Hill, after overcoming an achilles injury.

Hodge said on Monday he had pulled up well and aimed to lead the Hawks against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Saturday night.

But having played only about half the practice match, he was unsure how he would cope with a full game, and the AFL's new substitute rule might help him ease back into the action.

"I only played about 50-55 minutes," Hodge told Melbourne's Nova 100 radio.

"With the new interchange rule you can't really go into a game expecting to play minimum game-time, so it will be interesting."

Asked if he could play as a substitute, he said: "That could be a possibility."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has previously said the club wants their captain and reigning best and fairest to play in round one.

But Clarkson has said the Hawks might have to nurse Hodge through the early rounds, given his limited preparation.

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