Amid some uncertainty about when Luke Hodge will return to the AFL, Hawthorn teammate Sam Mitchell is sure about one thing.
Hodge is the last person who will have a say in the decision.
Hawthorn’s hard-as-nails captain is making a case this week to play against St Kilda this Saturday in Launceston.
Hodge was expected to miss four-to-six weeks when he suffered an arm fracture in the loss to Geelong.
But he wore a brace on the arm on Tuesday while training with the main group.
As Mitchell noted, if it was up to Hodge the decision to play this weekend would be a no-brainer.
Hodge is renowned for his toughness and would be pestering Hawthorn’s medical staff about when he will be ready to play again.
“Hodgey thought he could play while he was having the surgery I think,” Mitchell joked.
“The medical staff, clearly they don’t take Hodgey’s opinion into consideration at all, which is probably the right way to go about it.”
More seriously, Mitchell said it was up to Hodge to prove his arm can handle contact work.
“If it means one more (game), then so be it,” Mitchell said.
“It’s just going to be the ball-handling and the tackling and spoiling and the physical side of the game, that he’s never had too much trouble with really. So I think he’ll be fine when he’s right to go 100 per cent.
“I think the physical side of the training will start to step up now.”