Hugh McCluggage during the round 22 AFL match between St Kilda and Brisbane on August 12, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Brisbane Lions midfielder Hugh McCluggage suffered a cruel head injury against Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.

In the fourth quarter of action between the Lions and Hawks, McCluggage was wrapped up and twisted in a James Sicily tackle.

McCluggage was taken to the ground as his head made significant contact with the turf.

A medical cart was brought out to take the midfielder off the ground, however, that was rejected by McCluggage, who opted instead to be assisted by trainers the entire way around the MCG and back to the Brisbane bench.

McCluggage was immediately removed from the contest and handed a warm-up jacket.

The Lions had already used their tactical substitute, with Keidean Coleman coming on for injured defender Daniel Rich earlier in the contest.

Meanwhile, Hawks veteran forward Luke Breust suffered a corked quad and was substituted out of the contest.

First-year midfielder Cameron Mackenzie, Hawthorn's tactical substitute, was subbed into the game in the third quarter after Breust was ruled out.

Breust could be seen riding an exercise bike on Hawthorn's bench for numerous minutes in hopes of keeping warm and returning to the field, however, that scenario was not to be.