James Frawley will be sidelined for Hawthorn’s JLT Community Series clash in Ballarat this Saturday.
The Hawks’ director of high performance Andrew Russell confirmed on Tuesday that the East Point export would not be taking the field against the Western Bulldogs this weekend.
It is understood Frawley has been battling groin and hamstring issues since the Hawks’ most recent intraclub game.
“Frawley is not available this week but we expect him to be available for the following JLT game against Carlton,” Russell told the Hawthorn website.
Frawley’s latest setback follows an injury-marred 2017 AFL season, where he failed to play a game after round eight.
He sustained a toe injury in the clash against the Brisbane Lions, which cost him the remainder of the year.
Missing Saturday’s clash at Mars Stadium will be disappointing for Frawley, who grew up playing in Ballarat.
The former Damascus College student was drafted to the AFL from the North Ballarat Rebels with pick 12 in the 2006 national draft.
His career started at Melbourne, where he played 139 games before moving to Hawthorn as a free agent at the end of the 2014 season.
In his first year with the Hawks, he won a premiership.
Frawley will not be the only big-name Hawthorn player to sit out the opening JLT game this weekend.
Livewire Cyril Rioli, defender Grant Birchall and big man Jonathon Ceglar will all be missing from the team on Saturday afternoon.
Rioli has spent time in Darwin caring for his sick father and has had a delayed start to the pre-season, Birchall is recovering from surgery to an injured right knee and Ceglar has been battling back soreness.
Saturday’s game will be the first of three appearances by the Western Bulldogs in their adopted home of Ballarat in 2018.
The club has scheduled two AFL fixtures for premiership points in the city this season, following on from its inaugural Ballarat home game last year.
Western Bulldogs are scheduled to play against the Gold Coast Suns in round seven on Saturday, May 5 and Port Adelaide in round 19 on Sunday, July 29.
Bulldogs players will be in Ballarat from Thursday this week, with school and club visits planned before the game against the Hawks.
Saturday’s match is set to commence at 2.05pm, with tickets available at Ticketmaster and at the gate.