Shiels sidelined for start of AFL season

Liam Shiels has joined Jarryd Roughead as a significant injury worry for Hawthorn as they aim for their fourth-straight AFL premiership.

The three-time premiership midfielder will be out of action for up to six weeks with a wrist fracture.

Shiels left the field in distress during the last quarter of Saturday’s NAB Challenge win over North Melbourne.

The Hawks said scans on Sunday confirmed a hairline fracture.

“What that effectively means is he’ll be out for somewhere between four to six weeks,” said Hawks football manager Chris Fagan.

“Liam has had a really good pre-season to date and it’s a disappointing result at this stage of the year.”

Roughead will not return until midway through the season because of a posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

While Shiels is not one of Hawthorn’s high-profile stars, he is a first-choice selection with his hardness and consistency through the midfield.

He is normally the Hawks’ first option if they decide to tag an opposition onballer.

Shiels made his AFL debut in 2009 and played 22 senior games last year for a career total of 124.

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