MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 03: Recruit Tom Scully speaks to media during a Hawthorn Hawks AFL training session at Xavier College on December 03, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Gun Hawthorn recruit Tom Scully has taken a giant leap in his return to the field as he took part in match simulation at Waverley park on Thursday.

Scully, who was dealt to the Hawks at a bargain price due to a horrific ankle injury in 2018, was joined in match practice by veteran defender Grant Birchall, who hasn’t played an AFL game since 2017 due to persistent injury setbacks.

Scully fractured his right ankle in round two last year in a gruesome tackle, with fears that the elite runner may never be the same player after the incident.

However, the ex-Giant’s recovery is tracking well despite no clear date for return, Hawks assistant Darren Glass told

“There’s no timeline yet on their (Scully and Birchall) return, but they’ve both been progressing well and they looked really sharp on the training track yesterday,” Glass said.

The news will come as a huge boost to the Hawks, who lost star midfielder Tom Mitchell to a broken leg in training during the preseason.

The Hawks will open their home and away campaign with match up with the Crows at Adelaide Oval.