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Mitchell 'wasn't close' to Hawthorn return

West Coast midfielder Sam Mitchell says he risked damaging his ankle further if he was included in the side for Sunday's AFL clash against Hawthorn.

Mitchell 'wasn't close' to Hawthorn return

West Coast midfielder Sam Mitchell says he risked damaging his ankle further if he was included in the side for Sunday's AFL clash against Hawthorn.

West Coast star Sam Mitchell admits he was a long way off being able to prove his fitness to face his old side Hawthorn.

Mitchell has been ruled out for Sunday's AFL clash at the MCG after injuring his ankle last week against Sydney.


The four-time premiership player had been hopeful of recovering in time to face the Hawks but says he was only 10 per cent of the way through a fitness test on Thursday morning when he knew he wasn't ready.

"Normally you can get to the point where you think 'yeah, I can convince the doc here' ... but really, I couldn't even get close enough to honestly look him in the eye and think I could contribute anywhere near enough, so I had to pull the pin myself," Mitchell told Fox Footy's AFL 360.

"I just wouldn't function. If it was just pain, I might have OK but there was some other stuff. I couldn't even run at half of my speed so you can imagine how slow that was.

"I would miss a while if I'd played this one so it wasn't going to be worth it, unfortunately."

Forward Jack Darling has been added to an extended 25-man West Coast squad after missing the Swans clash with an ankle complaint.

The Hawks have recalled Ty Vickery but fellow off-season recruit Jaeger O'Meara will miss another week as he recovers from a knock to the knee.

Mitchell said he was disappointed he couldn't face his former side but hoped to be available to line up against Fremantle next Saturday.

"I think I'll be OK," he said.

"I need to get every bit of every day of improvement that I can. If I can have that same progression over the next few days, I'll be fine for next week but I need to continue to improve."

Mitchell's absence comes as a blow for West Coast as they look to overcome their recent MCG hoodoo.

The Eagles will start firm favourites against the winless Hawks but have still tapped Mitchell for intelligence about his former teammates.

"Clearly I know a fair bit about Hawthorn and how they operate," he said.

"I guess in the position they're in right now, it is quite hard to prepare for them for this game.

"It's more on an individual basis - players that know they might have certain match-ups - being able to tell them about the strengths and weaknesses of players, what they like and what they perhaps don't like quite as much."

AAP


AAP



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