Hawthorn key forward Mitchell Lewis to miss start of AFL season after training mishap

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Hawthorn Hawks striker Mitchell Lewis will miss the start of the AFL season after sustaining a knee injury in training on Monday, the club has confirmed.

The 24-year-old, who scored 37 goals from 15 games last season, sprained his anterior cruciate ligament during a game simulation at La Trobe University earlier this week but is not expected to require surgery.

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“He will definitely spend some time on the sidelines and at this stage we expect him to miss Round 1,” said Hawthorn team doctor Liam West.

Lewis, who missed last year’s final three rounds due to a bruised knee on the same side, recently signed a four-year contract to remain at the club until the end of the 2026 season.

Mitchell Lewis of the Hawks. Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The Victorian, who made his AFL debut in 2017, established himself as one of the top young forwards in the league last year and this new injury comes as a major blow to the Hawks.

Several high-profile players including Jack Gunston, Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell were traded during the off-season and the temporary loss of Lewis further weakens an already inexperienced forward.

The Hawks are scheduled to face Essendon in the opening round of the 2023 season at the MCG on Sunday, March 19, with the first bounce scheduled for 3:20pm AEDT.

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