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Hawthorn's Vandenberg out for six weeks

05/06/2007 05:24:10 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn captain Richie Vandenberg hopes to return to AFL action within six weeks after undergoing shoulder surgery on Wednesday.

Vandenberg injured his right shoulder last weekend playing for the Hawks' VFL affiliate Box Hill.

He saw a specialist on Tuesday, who confirmed a grade-three rupture of the ligaments in his AC joint.

Vandenberg has only played one senior match this season because of hamstring problems and there were fears that shoulder surgery could rule him out for the remainder of the year.

Hawthorn's general manager of football operations Mark Evans said while this injury was another setback to Vandenberg's season, he was confident the captain would return to action in July.

"This is good news for Richie," said Evans.

"This surgery will allow him to return to training sooner and guarantees a return to football with a stronger shoulder joint.

"Richie will return to running and shoulder strengthening work within two weeks after the operation and should return to competitive training within a month from that point."

In his absence, the club captaincy will be rotated between Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge.

The third-placed Hawks play Sydney at the MCG on Saturday.

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