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Gunston, Lewis set for Hawthorn AFL return

3 minute read

Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell says all-Australian forward Jack Gunston is likely to face Western Bulldogs on Friday night while Mitch Lewis is a certainty.

NAKIA COCKATOO of the Cats and JACK GUNSTON of the Hawks compete for the ball during the AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at MCG in Melbourne, Australia.
NAKIA COCKATOO of the Cats and JACK GUNSTON of the Hawks compete for the ball during the AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at MCG in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

While he still has to tick a few boxes, the signs look good for the return of Jack Gunston with the premiership forward leading Hawthorn out on to the training track on Monday.

The 30-year-old suffered an ankle injury in the Hawks' tight loss to Collingwood in round 12 - his second in a month - causing him to miss their trip to Fremantle where they fell by 13 points.

But with Hawthorn enjoying the bye at the weekend, Gunston looked in good shape to meet Western Bulldogs on Friday night at Marvel Stadium.

Coach Sam Mitchell said he was likely to play while young key forward Mitch Lewis was a certainty after he also missed the Dockers match with knee swelling.

"I said to him (Gunston) this morning, 'Are you right this week?' and he said he should be, he just needed to get out there and have a run around and see how it feels," Mitchell said on Monday.

"It's more likely than unlikely."

He said Lewis had come back refreshed after two weeks' off, in some good news given there's no firm timeline for the return of fellow key position player Sam Frost from a knee injury.

Mitchell wasn't certain about Max Lynch and Josh Ward, who have been sidelined with concussion.

Ward hasn't been available since suffering a bump playing against Richmond's VFL side in mid May, while Lynch sustained a head knock in round 10.

"I haven't seen much of them this morning but that's for the medical team," Mitchell said.

"When it's concussion you're very much in the doctor's hands so if they're ticked off from the doctor's point of view, then they'll be available."

Hawthorn skipper Ben McEvoy completed individualised training on Monday as he continues his recovery from a fractured neck, with Mitchell saying he was progressing well.

The Hawks have dropped their last three games to sit 14th while the 10th-place Bulldogs are looking to break into the eight.

They are coming off an impressive win last round over the Giants, with both teams scoring more than 100 points.

"It's not too often you see both sides scoring over 100 points, but it was good to watch for the fans," Mitchell said.

"Hopefully we can continue to be free flowing ... we haven't been afraid to open games up and let them be a bit more high scoring so we'll have a look at how we think we can best set that game up that will suit our game style and give us the best chance to win."

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