Hawks' AFL flag hopes not killed by injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks' AFL flag hopes not killed by injury

Sam Lienert and Greg Buckle 12/06/2011 03:58:33 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says key forward Jarryd Roughead's season-ending injury does not have to be a fatal blow to the AFL club's premiership chances.

The Hawks have confirmed the tall forward will need surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon, wiping him out for the rest of this season and possibly the start of next season.

He joins key defenders Stephen Gilham and Ben Stratton as Hawks whose seasons have been ended by injury.

But Clarkson said recent history showed that clubs could win premierships while missing players thought to be crucial.

"They're all very important players to us, they've all gone down with season-ending injuries," the coach said.

"Teams have won flags like that before. I can remember being at Port Adelaide (as an assistant coach) at the start of 2004.

"The captain Matthew Primus and Josh Francou both hurt knees early in the season.

"Everyone could have quite easily said you can't win a flag without Primus and Francou (who was runner-up in the 2002 Brownlow Medal).

"Two guys stepped into their roles and they won the flag in 2004. So it can be done.

"It's going to test us but we're certainly not going to give up."

Ex-skipper Sam Mitchell said the Hawks' task was now difficult, but they would fight on.

"We've got other guys in the wings. A famous old saying at Hawthorn is you lose a soldier, you replace him with another one," Mitchell told the Seven Network's AFL Game Day.

"Jordan Lisle got his first chance last week, David Hale played in the VFL today, so someone will just have to step up and play their role."

The Hawks also lost Clinton Young to a hamstring injury, with the extent pf the problem still to be assessed. Defender Brent Guerra could also be in doubt for Saturday's clash with the Gold Coast in Launceston because of a perforated ear drum.

Collingwood have suffered an injury blow, with scans expected to confirm small forward Brad Dick needs a knee reconstruction after being injured in the VFL on Saturday.

Dick is in his fifth season, but it's his fourth major injury, having undergone a previous knee reconstruction and two shoulder reconstructions, keeping him to just 27 AFL games.

And Adelaide key forward Kurt Tippett will have scans after injuring his left shoulder in Saturday's loss to West Coast.

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