Hawks to make call on Hodge’s AFL return

Hawthorn will most likely give captain Luke Hodge another week before he returns to the AFL.

Hodge is making good progress as he recovers from the broken arm he suffered in round one.

But the Hawks veteran conceded on Wednesday that it is up to their medical staff to decide when the time is right.

Given it is only round four and Hawthorn are coming off two wins, there is no need to rush him back.

They will host St Kilda this Saturday in Launceston, with teams to be announced later on Thursday.

Another player making strong progress in his comeback from injury is luckless Geelong ruckman Nathan Vardy.

The injury-plagued Cat was expected to be out of action for six weeks when he had a foot ligament sprain over Easter during a VFL practice match.

But coach Chris Scott said Vardy could return to playing as quickly as this weekend.

Again, Vardy would most likely come back through Geelong’s VFL team.

West Coast expect Eric Mackenzie to be fit for Friday night’s home game against Richmond, despite the defender injuring a toe in their Western Derby win.

Matthew Priddis, Luke Shuey, Brad Sheppard and Jamie Cripps reportedly were also sore after a typically-rugged clash with Fremantle.

Port Adelaide’s gifted forward Chad Wingard and midfielder Hamish Hartlett have pushed their cases to make senior recalls this weekend.

The duo, both recovering from hamstring strains, trained strongly on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s away game against Greater Western Sydney.

“They trained pretty well, they both looked all right,” teammate Ollie Wines told reporters after training.

Hartlett has missed two games and Wingard one with their respective injuries.

“They have obviously got to tick off a few more things to go this week and hopefully they’ll be there this Sunday.”

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