Hawthorn is set to be without the services of key forward Mitchell Lewis for one final week, with head coach Sam Mitchell claiming the 24-year-old was left disappointed after missing selection for Sunday's clash against Adelaide in Launceston.
Lewis has been a notable absentee in each of the Hawks' opening five matches this season after spraining his anterior cruciate ligament in January.
And while the spearhead was able to avoid surgery, Hawthorn's medical staff have taken no risks with the fledgling talent, holding him back from all forms of action across the season's opening month and change.
Speaking ahead of his side's second Apple Isle fixture for the year, head coach Sam Mitchell claimed that while Lewis would need to tick a few more boxes before making his return, Hawthorn's Round 7 fixture against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday week had been circled.
"He wasn't available this week, much to his disappointment. I think he would have called himself available, but our medical team have been really strong that next week is his first week as potentially available," Mitchell was quoted by AFL Media.
"We'll see how he gets through. He'll have three sessions before the next game – one of those will be quite significant – making sure that he trains well and recovers well from that to put his hand up for selection next week."
Though Lynch has not donned the club's famous brown and gold bars since Round 23 of last season, the mulleted big man will join forces with Ned Reeves in an effort to match in-form Crows Reilly O'Brien and Riley Thilthorpe at stoppages - a pairing that combined for 51 hitouts in Adelaide's Gather Round win over Carlton.
Never shy in coming forward, Mitchell outlined the reasons for Lynch's elevation, stressing that the 24-year-old's body of work at VFL level this season required rewarding.
"We had a pretty honest conversation with the rucks last week. Obviously, Ned really stood up and had a fantastic game," Mitchell delineated.
"Max has worked really hard and his past two games, in particular at Box Hill, he has been the dominant big man. He was giving himself a lot of chances earlier in the year and getting his hands on a lot of footy, but not actually finishing work.
"His physicality around the ball has been really good in the last two weeks at Box Hill. We'll make a decision later today on the second ruck."
The opening bounce of the Battle of the Birds is scheduled for 1:10 pm (AEST) at UTAS Stadium on Sunday.