Hawks hope for good news on Hale - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks hope for good news on Hale

Guy Hand 16/05/2011 06:39:22 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn are confident they have solutions to the long-term injuries which marred one of the AFL club's bravest victories at the weekend.

The Hawks will be without ruckman David Hale for up to six weeks with a torn meniscus in his knee.

But Hawthorn's worst fears were realised with defender Stephen Gilham.

He faces up to 12 months out and knee reconstruction surgery after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

The pair were sidelined early in the Hawks' courageous 30-point win over St Kilda at the MCG, leaving them two players down on the interchange bench and without a recognised ruckman.

Hale's injury was not able to be assessed until exploratory surgery on Monday because the knee locked entirely, and did not free up until well after the match.

"We were relatively pleased with the outcome and, pending an uninterrupted recovery, he should be back in the mix in around four to six weeks," Hawks football manager Mark Evans said on Monday night.

"Obviously it's extremely disappointing for Stephen, who has been a important player for us down back.

"But I'm certain he will remain an important member of the team from the sidelines assisting some of our younger players with their development."

The Hawks are set to welcome back Brent Renouf and Cyril Rioli from hamstring injuries for the clash with Sydney on Sunday to help ease their injury crisis.

Renouf would be the obvious replacement for Hale.

And Evans said the brilliant Rioli, injured three weeks ago, would be assessed through the week.

"It's not a major hamstring injury, but he just had an awareness of it last weekend during a training session ... when a player comes off and says that, we just decided to back off for another week," Evans said.

Gilham's demise adds to the loss of fellow tall defender Ben Stratton for the season with a knee injury.

But there is at least a logical replacement in defender Ryan Schoenmakers, now fully fit after early season injury.

He has been playing well in the reserves and along with untried Jordan Lisle will vie for Gilham's spot for the rest of the year.

Hale's injury could also provide an opportunity for luckless Max Bailey to resume his AFL career.

Ruckman Bailey, who has had three knee reconstructions himself, has returned to football successfully in the Hawks' reserves.

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