Hawthorn hope key defender James Frawley will return to the AFL within a month.
Frawley suffered a dislocated left shoulder in last Saturday’s win over Essendon, prompting speculation he would need season-ending surgery.
But the Hawks are upbeat about his recovery prospects.
“He’s had a series of scans over the last few days and discussions with our medical people, and it looks at this point in time that James will probably miss three to four weeks,” football manager Chris Fagan said on the club website.
“He’ll go through a rehabilitation process – I noticed he was out there running this morning at training, which was a good sign.
“(There is) no surgery at this point in time.”
Frawley is in his first season with the Hawks after joining from Melbourne as a free agent.
He suffered a torn left pectoral muscle in round two – also against Essendon – and did not return until round seven.
If Frawley can successfully return from this latest setback, he will be a key player for the Hawks as they try to become the first team since Brisbane in 2001-03 to win three-straight premierships.