Hawthorn star Will Day out indefinitely with stress fracture

Hawthorn star Will Day faces a race against the clock to be fit for round 1 after he was struck down by a stress fracture on the Hawks’ first day back at pre-season training.

Scans revealed the damage to Day’s foot after he complained of pain during the Hawks’ session at Waverley Park on Wednesday.

Hawthorn high performance manager Rob Burge said the club would be conservative with the 22-year-old, who won the Hawks’ best and fairest last season after averaging 26 disposals and four clearances in a breakout campaign.

“Will felt some discomfort during training today, so we sent him off for scans, where they unfortunately showed a stress fracture in his foot,” Burge said.

“He’ll spend at least the next few weeks in a moon boot while we further assess the injury and determine the timeline for recovery.

“During this period, we will also consult with specialists to ensure we develop the best rehabilitation program for Will.

“Will is a young player that is going to have a long future at our football club, so we will be conservative in our approach to get him back on the field.”

Day’s full-time move into the midfield was one of the success stories of the Hawks’ season as they mixed heavy defeats with giant-killing wins over grand-finalists Collingwood and Brisbane to finish 16th.

A foot stress fracture could rule him out for anywhere between four to 12 weeks, which would impact the opening month of the AFL season.

Fremantle had hoped champion midfielder Nat Fyfe would return after he suffered the same injury in round 16 last season, but three weeks later pulled a pin on his season with finals no longer possible and a need for the former captain to undergo finger surgery.

Hawthorn resumed its pre-season training on Wednesday without senior coach Sam Mitchell, who will arrive home from New York later this week following a severe bout of pneumonia which led to his hospitalisation over Christmas.

The Hawks said on Tuesday Mitchell would be eased back into his role in a part-time capacity in a bid to return him to full health as soon as possible.

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