Fyfe AFL return no distraction for Hawks

·2-min read

Sam Mitchell insists Fremantle star Nat Fyfe's return to AFL action won't occupy too much of Hawthorn's time as they plot an upset in the west.

Dockers captain Fyfe is set to play his first match at the top level this season when the two sides clash at Optus Stadium on Saturday.

It comes after he made a successful comeback from shoulder and back injuries with WAFL affiliate Peel Thunder last weekend.

There is uncertainty around the role Fyfe will play as Fremantle weigh up a midfield-forward split for their dual Brownlow medallist.

But Mitchell is also wary of other weapons that have led the Dockers to an impressive 9-3 record, citing midfielder Andrew Brayshaw and ruckman Sean Darcy as examples.

"(Fyfe) is a superstar of the game and has been for over a decade now, but the thing that's different with Freo (this year) is that they're a very even and very well-balanced team," Hawks coach Mitchell said.

"Their whole team is playing really good football ... and they've got really talented players all over the oval.

"Their reliance on Fyfe is a little bit less, so there won't be too much focus on him."

Fremantle opted to bring Fyfe back through the WAFL to get him used to the rigours of competitive action again.

It was his first game at that level in 12 years.

Mitchell, who was fined by the AFL in 2015 for an errant knee that gave Fyfe a corked thigh, said the Dockers gun could expect a tough clash with the Hawks.

"He hasn't been named yet so we haven't spoken about testing him out physically but I imagine it's likely to be a reasonably physical game," Mitchell said.

"We expect a bit of rain over there across the course of the week ... so we'll see what happens."

Hawthorn are weighing up several changes following their defeat to Collingwood last week, with experienced forward Jack Gunston already ruled out because of his latest ankle injury.

Mitch Lewis was also on light duties at Wednesday's training session, completing some running work away from the main group and having his right knee checked out on the sidelines.

Sam Frost will return from suspension and Mitchell expects Jack Scrimshaw (concussion) to be available.

But ruckman Max Lynch and Josh Ward will remain sidelined because of concussion.

"We're being quite conservative with (Lynch's) progression given that it's his second concussion this season," Mitchell said.

"I'm not the expert in this area but (Lynch) and Josh Ward both remain unavailable because the way we've tried to get them through is that slow, safe, conservative method."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting