Tom Hawkins in AFL retirement speculation as Scott Pendlebury adds to Collingwood woes

Things aren't looking good for the Cats and Magpies.

Matthew Lloyd has predicted Collingwood might struggle to make the AFL finals due to their mounting injury toll, while Mark Robinson has suggested Cats veteran Tom Hawkins might be calling it quits in the near future. Geelong and Collingwood are sixth and seventh on the AFL ladder respectively, but many are predicting they will slide downwards in the coming weeks.

The Magpies have been decimated by injuries, while the Cats have lost four games in a row for the first time in Chris Scott's tenure as coach. Discussing the situation at Geelong on Monday night, veteran journalist Robinson said Hawkins' might be “coming to a halt”.

Hawkins has played a club-record 356 games, booting 793 goals. But he has struggled to have any meaningful impact in recent weeks.

Tom Hawkins, Jordan De Goey and Scott Pendlebury.
Tom Hawkins (L) is nearing the end of his career, while Jordan De Goey and Scott Pendlebury (R) are among a number of injured Collingwood stars. Image: Getty

“Tom Hawkins, I fear his career has come to a halt…I look at Tom and I think his time has come,” Robinson said on AFL 360. “He’s been an unbelievable player, and he broke the record on the weekend.”


Co-host Gerard Whateley said Hawkins' form is part of some real problems at the Cats. “Four in a row, Chris Scott’s first time experiencing this with Geelong, there’s some really odd parts to their games at the moment,” he said.

“What we saw on Saturday (against GWS) was symptomatic of some of what had happened in the Port Adelaide game. The midfield gets beaten, which hasn’t always been fatal for Geelong, but the defence is vulnerable in a way that is quite jarring.

“They’ve got some issues, I look at them and think to myself at times, ‘they’re just not a good team’. Then they get on a run… it’s unlike Chris Scott teams to have a period of blindingly good footy where they kick six or seven goals, they’re always a very consistent team. All the way through - consistency, process, defence - the problem is, some of their forwards are struggling too.”

Tom Hawkins, pictured here with teammates after Geelong's loss to Port Adelaide.
Tom Hawkins (R) looks dejected after Geelong's loss to Port Adelaide.

But Geelong aren't the only high-profile club with serious issues at the moment. Collingwood have been ravaged by injuries and it was revealed on Monday that Jordan De Goey will miss another month of footy.

Mason Cox is out for at least six weeks, while Jeremy Howe (groin) and Jack Bytel (concussion) are expected to be available for the clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday night. But De Goey is still sidelined with what has now been diagnosed as an abdominal tendon tear, while Cox is in concussion protocols and has a knee injury.

De Goey missed Friday's draw with Fremantle after experiencing "groin awareness" in round 10. But the Magpies said in a statement on Monday: "Further assessment revealed Jordan De Goey sustained an acute rectus abdominal tendon tear. The 28-year-old is working through his rehab program and is expected return within three to four weeks."

Cox took a knock to the face during the Dockers draw and twisted his knee in a tackle. "In addition to the concussion, scans have confirmed Cox sustained a Grade 2 medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury from the match," the statement said. "The 33-year-old is expected to return in six weeks' time while he rehabilitates the MCL injury."

Brody Mihocek re-injured his troublesome hamstring against Fremantle and will miss three to five weeks, while Joe Richards sustained a metatarsal fracture in the same game and will miss four to five weeks. Jamie Elliott is still on a modified training program while he manages a vascular issue, while Tom Mitchell is out with plantar fasciitis and Will Hoskin-Elliott (hamstring) is expected back in a fortnight.

And to make matters worse, Scott Pendlebury was sent for scans on Monday for an arm injury and has also been ruled out. "Pendles won't play," Collingwood coach Craig McRae told reporters after Wednesday's training session.

"We anticipated he'd get through training and he'd be right, but he didn't get through training. We'll explore what that looks like. At this stage we're not sure, but no, he won't play. It's a big (blow). His leadership is critical, and with his experience he's hard to replace."

Essendon legend Lloyd said of the dire situation on Monday night: "It's now about can they hang in there and play finals, versus can they win a premiership. I think this makes it too hard. I've got them missing the eight."