Travis King reports-
WILL Langford could return for Hawthorn’s run home to finals after making an encouraging recovery from a knee injury.
It was feared the 23-year-old, who starred in last year’s finals series, might miss the remainder of the home-and-away campaign with a medial ligament problem.
But Langford could be back in action within the next two weeks, Hawthorn’s general manager of football operations Chris Fagan told the club’s website.
“He’s progressed really well, doing some running, he’s fairly pain free and I think his swelling has gone down,” Fagan said.
“It might be closer to two weeks than the four we talked about last week, which is typical of medial injuries – you’ve just got to see how they go.”
The Hawks escaped from last Friday night’s upset loss to Richmond without any fresh injury concerns, and are likely to have Angus Litherland (corked calf) and Matt Suckling (hamstring soreness) available for the trip to face West Coast.
However, strong-marking forward James Sicily has suffered a setback, fracturing his hand in Box Hill’s VFL triumph over the Tigers.
“He’ll miss a couple of weeks unfortunately. He’s been in great form and he’s a player we’ve got big hopes for in the future – which we still have – but he’ll just have a little bit of a setback for two weeks,” Fagan said of Sicily.
The Hawks’ list remains relatively healthy ahead of a sixth-straight finals campaign.
Matt Spangher is back running and boxing after suffering his second hamstring injury this year, although the key defender is still at least two-to-three weeks away from resuming.
“No hiccups to this stage. The medical staff are very happy with where he’s at,” Fagan said.
“We’ll just make sure that he’s fully right when he comes back.”
The Hawks, who haven’t lost consecutive matches since round 10 last season, are determined to bounce back against the Eagles on Saturday night to keep their top-two hopes alive.
The back-to-back premiers are six points adrift of second-placed West Coast with five rounds to play.
“If we don’t (win), then we’re in the battle for the bottom part of the top-four, so there’s a lot at stake,” Fagan said.
“A lot at stake for West Coast too, because they know if they can win it’s probably second spot sewn up.”