AFL Rd 4 - Hawthorn v North Melbourne
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 28: Chad Wingard of the Hawks in action during the 2020 AFL Round 04 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium on June 28, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Hawthorn forward Chad Wingard is in doubt for the Hawks' Round 1 clash against Essendon after suffering a calf strain during an intra-club match last week, per AFL.com.au.

The setback will rule the 27-year-old out of the Hawks' upcoming pre-season games against the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne, while star onballer Tom Mitchell and defender Jack Scrimshaw are also set to remain on the sidelines due to injury.

After an impressive campaign with the Hawks in 2020, the latest setback is another cruel blow for the flashy forward, who is looking to bring up 200 AFL games should he play all 22 home-and-away matches.

The injury is the second of its kind to riddle Wingard's pre-season since arriving from Port Adelaide, where he missed the opening two rounds of the 2019 season with a calf setback.

Mitchell is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and remains in a race to reach full fitness for the Hawks season opener against the Bombers on Saturday, March 20 at Marvel Stadium.

It is reported that coach Alastair Clarkson is yet to rule out the ball-magnet for the match despite Mitchell not having joined the main group at training so far this pre-season.

Scrimshaw sustained bone bruising in his knee during the intra-club match and is now in doubt for Round 1 selection.

Star forward Jack Gunston (back) and defender James Sicily (ACL) are other notable names in the Hawks' casualty ward.

Gunston has been ruled out of the opening rounds of the season after undergoing surgery on a bulging disk complaint late last year, while Sicily is unlikely to return until late into the 2021 season.