HAWTHORN premiership player Brad Sewell is almost certain to be a Hawk for life.
Sewell has signed a three-year extension to his contract with Hawthorn.
This commits him to the end of 2015.
The deal means the 28-year-old will no longer be available as a restricted free agent at the end of the season under the AFL’s new Free Agency policy.
Sewell is the eighth player to commit to the Hawks this season joining the likes of Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Grant Birchall and former Redan speedster Isaac Smith.
Recruited in a rookie draft from North Ballarat Rebels and Newlyn in 2003, Sewell has had a decorated career with the Hawks.
A veteran of 168 games, he won the best and fairest and played in their 2008 premiership.
Meanwhile, Hawthorn remains unsure whether Lance Franklin will play in Saturday’s massive match against Sydney, with captain Luke Hodge saying the star forward is still groggy.
Franklin was a late withdrawal from Sunday’s regulation win over Gold Coast after he fell ill the night before.
He has now been out of action for six weeks, initially because of a hamstring injury.
Coach Alastair Clarkson admitted after the Suns game that Franklin’s continued absence was not ideal with the finals looming.
The Hawks, who are second, have big tests against top side Sydney and West Coast (fifth) ahead of the finals.
“(To) speak to him today, he can’t wait to train tomorrow and get ready to go to Sydney,” Hodge said.
“I’ve seen him look better, he still looks a little bit groggy, but he just can’t wait for training.
“Five or six weeks for anyone is a pain – he’s been ‘best on track’ the last three weeks.”
Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans said they were confident Franklin will have no trouble returning immediately to the AFL.
Evans added Franklin had a light training session yesterday.
“If Lance is ready to come back, he’ll play, don’t worry about that,” Evans said. “We won’t be fearful about that.
“Ideally, we would have got a game into him (on Sunday) ahead of these two important games in the run-up to the finals.
“I’m sure he’ll be right once he gets out there, any time he’s had a layoff in the past, he’s usually come back and played pretty well.”