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Hawthorn key forward Mitchell Lewis to miss start of AFL season after training mishap

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Hawthorn Hawks key forward Mitchell Lewis will miss the start of the AFL season after sustaining a knee injury during a training session on Monday, the club has confirmed.

The 24-year-old, who kicked 37 goals from 15 games last season, sprained his anterior cruciate ligament during match simulation at La Trobe University earlier this week, but is not expected to require surgery.

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“He will certainly spend some time on the sidelines though and, at this stage, we expect him to miss Round 1,” Hawthorn team doctor Liam West said.

Lewis, who missed the final three rounds of last year due to a jarred knee on the same side, recently signed a four-year deal to remain at the club until the end of the 2026 season.

Mitchell Lewis of the Hawks. Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos/via Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

The Victorian, who made his AFL debut in 2017, established himself as one of the best young key forwards in the competition last year, and this fresh injury setback comes as a major blow to the Hawks.

Several high-profile players, including Jack Gunston, Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell, were traded during the off-season, and the temporary loss of Lewis further weakens an already inexperienced forward line.

The Hawks are scheduled to face Essendon in the opening round of the 2023 season at the MCG on Sunday, March 19, with the first bounce scheduled for 3.20pm AEDT.

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