Hawthorn defender Grant Birchall will miss the Hawks’ round one clash with Collingwood as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
Peter Ryan of The Age tweeted out the news on Wednesday afternoon, suggesting the Hawks are still hopeful he will make a return to the line-up in the early rounds of the season.
.@HawthornFC has ruled premiership defender Grant Birchall out of the round one clash against Collingwood as he recovers from a persistent knee problem. They remain confident he will return in the early rounds. More on @agerealfooty soon.
— peter ryan (@petryan) February 21, 2018
The 30-year-old played just five matches in 2017 due to an injury-prone season, with his final match of the year coming against Collingwood in round 15.
Birchall has played 245 games for the Hawks since making his debut in round one, 2006, and is hoping to play his 250th game this season.