Hawks expect Hodge to return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks expect Hodge to return

Steve Larkin 27/03/2011 12:06:19 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn expect Luke Hodge to return from injury after sorely missing their captain in their AFL season-opening loss to Adelaide, says coach Alastair Clarkson.

The Hawks, without Hodge who continued his recovery from an Achilles injury in VFL ranks, were downed by 20 points at AAMI Stadium on Saturday night,

Hawthorn skipped to a five-goal lead early in the second quarter but were overrun by the Crows, who won 16.9 (105) to 12.13 (85).

Hodge emerged unscathed from his outing with Box Hill on Saturday afternoon and will likely return when the Hawks meet Melbourne next Sunday.

"Hodgey will certainly come into calculations," Clarkson said.

"It would have been handy to have his steeliness, but with the sub rule you have to make sure your boys are well conditioned."

Clarkson substituted onballer Brad Sewell at three-quarter time against Adelaide with Brendan Whitecross.

"We found it difficult to make the sub work because we had three or four players who were tired and fatigued at three-quarter time," Clarkson said.

"You've got a fresh player but when do you use him? Its a conundrum for coaches.

"It takes your focus away from the game when you are considering these things but theyre the rules."

The Hawks coach blamed tardy foot skills for allowing the Crows to kick 11 goals to five after half-time to post a comeback triumph.

"We had some terrible clangers and some of our defensive efforts were quite poor," Clarkson said.

"The ball went out the back far too easily and they got some easy goals.

"We had the same amount of scoring shots but we couldnt punish them."

Gun forward Lance Franklin returned 2.6 for the night, his inaccuracy costly.

"We hit the post three or four times in that third quarter but that is footy, a couple of lucky things go your way and maybe the result goes a different way," Clarkson said.

"Buddy kicked 2.6 and missed another, he could have been a very pivotal player tonight.

"(Adelaide defender) Phil Davis probably had the better of that duel, but it could have quite easily gone the other way."

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