AFL 2024: Ankle injury sidelines Hawthorn gun Nick Watson

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Hawthorn’s top draft pick Nick Watson could miss up to six weeks after scans confirmed he suffered an ankle syndesmosis injury in the dying moments of the Easter Monday loss to Geelong.

The Hawks will also need to face reigning premier Collingwood on Sunday without spearhead Mitchell Lewis due to a low grade hamstring strain which forced him out of the match at three quarter time.

Hawthorn head doctor Liam West said Lewis had been ruled out of the Magpies clash due to the six-day break but would be assessed for a potential round 5 return against Gold Coast.

Watson’s ankle was caught under an opponent late in the final term and he was helped off the MCG by trainers with only seconds remaining in the match.

West said the early prognosis was the impressive small forward would miss between four and six weeks with the injury.

“He’ll spend the next period in a moon boot to allow his ligaments to heal before we begin loading him up again,” West said.

“At this stage we think he’ll be out four to six weeks, but will continually reassess this during his rehab period.

“Being a lower grade injury (for Lewis), we don’t expect Mitch to miss a considerable amount of game play.”

Dees defenders continue to drop

Melbourne has lost another defender to injury with Marty Hore sidelined for a month following a broken thumb in the win over Port Adelaide.

The Demons still hope to reclaim star backman Steven May against Adelaide on Thursday night but may need to fly more defensive personnel to their camp in South Australia as Hore comes out of the side.

Half-forward Kade Chandler (knee) is also under a fitness cloud ahead of the Crows clash, but Melbourne high performance boss Selwyn Griffith said there was little concern over the left-footer’s issue.

“To give him the most amount of time for preparation for the Adelaide game, we chose to keep him away from the main group’s training session,” Griffith said.

“We’ll continue to assess him day-to-day and hopefully Kade will be available for selection for this week’s game.”

Wingman Lachie Hunter is available following a pre-season calf setback and could return via the VFL this weekend, while a timeline has been set for Adelaide recruit Shane McAdam’s return from a hamstring injury after the forward spent the past few weeks in the rehab group.

“Shane is beginning to integrate into training with the team,” Griffith said.

“He’ll continue to train with the group as we build him into being available for selection in the coming weeks.”

Griffith said Hore would need to undergo surgery but the Demons hoped the 28-year-old would only miss a pair of matches and be available for the Anzac Day Eve clash following the club’s round 6 bye.