Big Gunston blow for Hawks

17 December 2020 19:25:59 GMTPlus11

Hawthorn have been rocked by the news star forward Jack Gunston needs a back operation that will keep him on the sidelines for up to five months.

The Hawks had already been stung by an ACL injury to gun defender James Sicily, who is unlikely to play in 2021, and now Gunston will miss the opening rounds of the season.

The Best and Fairest winner has been struggling with a bulging disk issue for some time, and the Hawks have decided that surgery is now the only way to fix the issue.

The news is a huge blow considering Gunston flourished in what was an otherwise very disappointing 2020 for the Hawks.

He led the club's goalkicking charts with 31 for the season, but despite his importance to the team, the Hawks will not be rushing him back.

Hawthorn's football manager Graham Wright says they have to make sure he is fully recovered before he returns.

"Jack has had some issues with his back in recent years and we've been able to manage it conservatively, recently, however, it hasn't settled, and in consultation with Jack, our doctors, and his surgeon, we believe surgery is in his best interest going forward," Wright told the club's website.

"Recovery for this type of surgery is usually around 4-5 months and it's important not to rush it.

"While it is disappointing that Jack will miss the start of the season, we won't take any unnecessary risks and we look forward to seeing him back on the field early in the season."

The Hawks are priced at 40/1 to win the AFL grand final.

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