Hawks captain out indefinitely after practice crash

Hawthorn will be without captain Ben McEvoy until the second half of the AFL season after the ruckman suffered a minor neck fracture.

McEvoy has withdrawn from the squad that has been named to face Carlton at the MCG on Sunday in a battle between two undefeated sides.

Will Day has been recalled by the Hawks, while the Blues have reunited with Adam Cerra after the classy midfielder missed out last week thanks to COVID-19 protocols.

Lewis Young has been called up to replace Mitch McGovern (hamstring) at Carlton’s defense.

McEvoy injured his neck during a competition in training Thursday but will not require surgery.

The 32-year-old is expected to make a full recovery with no ongoing complications.

“Once cured, it will have no impact on Ben’s ability to play football,” said Hawthorn club doctor Liam West.

“At this stage, we expect him to return to the team in the second half of the season.

“We will continue to assess Ben throughout his recovery following specialist advice.”

Jaeger O’Meara will captain Hawthorn in McEvoy’s absence against Carlton.

Meanwhile, St Kilda ruckman Paddy Ryder has been cleared to play his first game of the season after an interrupted build-up.

Ryder and defender Dougal Howard return to support the Saints for Sunday’s clash with Richmond at Marvel Stadium.

The Tigers have reunited with co-captain Dylan Grimes, who was out last week due to pain, but veteran spearhead Jack Riewoldt (thumb) and midfielder Dion Prestia (hamstring) are still unavailable.

Sports Grp2

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