Hawthorn are focusing on the "silver linings" that can come from defender James Blanck's season-ending ACL injury, with captain James Sicily expressing his confidence in the club's depth options.

Blanck's 2024 campaign was cruelly cut short this week midway through the Hawks' intra-club session, suffering the knee injury in a tackle.

The Box Hill graduate was firming as a starting stopper in Sam Mitchell's spine, likely to work alongside Sicily on the Hawks' last line.

Blanck's absence has now opened the door for a number of fringe Hawthorn backmen to prove their worth this season, with third-year utility Jai Serong backed as one of the leading options to replace the tall defender.

Veteran Sam Frost and former top six draft selection Denver Grainger-Barras are also options to consider, while draftee Will McCabe could get a look at AFL level sooner than first expected.

"I don't know it yet, but there will be some sort of silver lining out of him missing. It creates an opportunity for someone else," Sicily told media on Saturday.

"I'm still confident (in the club's depth). We've got young Jai Serong, who's played a couple of games and had a good pre-season.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 17: Jai Serong of the Hawks in action during the Hawthorn Hawks AFL intra club match at Waverley Park on February 17, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

"We've still got Denver, we've got (Josh) Weddle, who's 195cm, 95kg. We've got depth but we will be stretched though.

"As I said, there will be some sort of silver lining to come."

Grainger-Barras looms as a chance to cement his place in Mitchell's side after managing just seven appearances last year - most of which came as a forward target.

Drafted as the best young defender in 2020, the Western Australian could be the one to benefit from Blanck's heartbreak.

While Grainger-Barras is likely to be in consideration, Sicily has called for some patience and less pressure on the 21-year-old.

"I suppose it does, among some other guys as well," Sicily said of the opportunity Blanck's setback opens for Grainger-Barras.

"It comes with being a top pick, there's some pressure to perform straight away. But he's still pretty young himself.

"He's still developing and deserves a little bit of patience I think."

Tim Membrey and Denver Grainger-Barras during the AFL match between Hawthorn and St Kilda in Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

As for Sicily, the Hawthorn captain doesn't see Blanck's injury as a reason for him to change his own role this year.

The All-Australian defender believes the club will be putting its best foot forward if the playing group follows through on their game plan, no matter who fills the void.

"I don't think so. We'll see what happens," Sicily said of his own role.

"Someone might get off the chain and I might have to go to them, but hopefully not. We've got confidence in the other guys to do the job.

"We don't play matchup, no real defence does. It's all about helping each other out."

The Hawks are set for a pair of pre-season matches against the Western Bulldogs from next week, before a Round 1 bout with Essendon at the MCG on Saturday, March 16.