MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 07: Grant Birchall of the Hawks has his knee strapped after coming off injured for the day during the 2017 AFL round 07 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 07, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

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.

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.