Hawks brace for loss of injured Lake

Hawthorn are bracing for the short-term loss of defender Brian Lake to a knee injury, coach Alastair Clarkson says.

And forward Paul Puopolo also faces a stint on the AFL sidelines after damaging a hamstring in an eight-point away defeat to Port Adelaide on Saturday night.

Lake was hurt in just the seventh minute, suffering a medial ligament strain which Clarkson said didn’t appear overly serious.

“We’re uncertain on the severity of it,” he said.

“I’d suggest that because he couldn’t come back on, it was too unstable, that he’d be very, very unlikely to play next week.

“But he is testing okay post-game so we will see how he goes.”

Clarkson noted Lake and fellow key back James Frawley (chest) had both been forced substitutes in the Hawks’ two losses this season.

“I don’t think there is a side in the competition that copes well when a key back goes down,” he said.

“Frawley went down in the Essendon game and Lake went down in this game.

“With nearly every other position on the ground, even if a ruck goes down you have got a second ruck – but you haven’t got a key back sitting on the bench or in the substitute’s vest so it hurts you when those guys go down.”

Hawthorn were blitzed early by Port, who held a 58-point break midway through the second quarter.

“They had a bit of luck, it would be fair to say. They were kicking goals from everywhere, it didn’t matter what angle or what distance,” Clarkson said of the Power.

“Sometimes you have just got to wait for the tide to turn, luck can’t play out that way for four quarters all to one side.”

Clarkson stressed that comment wasn’t disparaging of Port.

“They made their own luck,” he said.

“They were harder at the contest and the luck sometimes falls your way and they deserved that becauise they did play very well early in the game.”

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