Hawthorn has been hit with another pre-season injury, with recent father-son draftee Will McCabe set to spend the next three months on the sideline nursing bone stress in his back

McCabe, the son of former Hawk, Luke McCabe, made his way from South Australia to Waverley with the 19th selection of the 2023 AFL Draft.

However, the 197cm key defensive prospect will have to wait to make his senior debut after recent scans revealed bone stress in his lower back.

Within a club-released statement, Hawthorn's High-Performance Manager Peter Burge stated that irrespective of the Hawks' dwindling defensive stocks, the club would not rush the teenager back.

"Unfortunately Will finished a training session recently and reported some back soreness, being a young player we wanted to do some more investigation, so we sent him for scans," Burge told Hawks Media.

"That showed that he had some bone stress in his back - so he's had to scale right back now and move into a non-weight-bearing program.

"It will be a very staged process and progression, and a careful one at that - like all our first-year players they're on managed training when they come in and he was on that program, but unfortunately we've ended up in this position."

McCabe became the latest Hawthorn defender bound to the sidelines within the past fortnight, joining Changkuoth Jiath (hamstring), James Blanck (ACL) and Denver Grainger-Barras (toes) all respectively ruled out of action.

The news, however, was happier for reigning Peter Crimmins medallist Will Day who was given the all-clear to remove his precautionary moon boot ahead of the club's opening pre-season scratch match.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 15: Will Day of the Hawks looks to pass the ball during the Hawthorn Hawks AFL intra club match at La Trobe University on February 15, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

While the fellow South Australian won't take part in either summer game, or the early stages of the season proper, Burge claimed Day was well on track to returning to the fray sooner rather than later.

"Following some scans on Wednesday, Will has been able to get out of his moon boot and he can resume body weight walking," Burge said.

"He will now have a staged progression with his rehab program, this will be walking initially, then Alter-G running and then land-based running.

"That timeline will still be reasonable, but the plan is still the earlier portion of the season looking to return to play."

Hawthorn will face off against the Western Bulldogs twice before the end of February before beginning their 2024 campaign against old enemies Essendon on Saturday, March 16 at Marvel Stadium.