Hawthorn's Stratton to have knee surgery - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawthorn's Stratton to have knee surgery

By Guy Hand 11/04/2011 06:30:02 PM Comments (0)

The surgeon's knife beckons for young Hawthorn defender Ben Stratton.

But how long he will be on the AFL sidelines after his serious knee injury remains uncertain.

Stratton will have an operation this week to repair his posterior cruciate ligament, torn in a collision during his side's 63-point win over Richmond at the weekend.

The Hawks gave surgery the go-ahead after Stratton visited a specialist on Monday - and say they're confident Stratton will have "a good outcome" from the surgery.

How long that good outcome will take remains unclear, as the Hawks continue to be evasive on a timeframe for his comeback - saying they'll be guided by Stratton's recovery.

Injuries to the posterior cruciate ligament - which in part keeps the shinbone from moving too far backwards within the leg - were prevalent several seasons ago among ruckmen before AFL rule changes to limit their run-up at the centre bounce.

Tears have taken anywhere from six to 12 weeks to heal in those circumstances.

Hawks teammate David Hale said Stratton was in good spirits and positive about his recovery despite his setback.

"They (PCL injuries) are anywhere between four and 12 weeks I think, so hopefully he recovers quickly," Hale said.

Stratton is likely to be replaced by fellow tall defender Tom Murphy, who has recovered from a pre-season ankle injury, for their clash with West Coast in Tasmania on Saturday.

Hawthorn will regain star forward Cyril Rioli after a one-match ban.

And influential midfielder Sam Mitchell is also set to return after missing the Richmond game for family reasons.

Both sides go into the clash in Launceston with 2-1 win-loss records - the Hawks expectedly so, the Eagles surprisingly.

Hale, acquired from North Melbourne to help boost the Hawks' scant ruck stocks, has been a big part of his new club's promising start.

Playing mainly as a forward, he has been pinch-hitting successfully in the ruck alongside Brent Renouf.

The biggest test of the new combination will come against West Coast's Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui.

"Cox has got a wealth of experience and Naitanui can jump over a fair height, so whatever tactics we can bring in to negate them will be talked about during the week," Hale said.

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