STAR Hawthorn midfielder Jaeger O’Meara must prove he has overcome a sore hip to take his spot against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
O’Meara is one of several Hawks who pulled up sore after the round-three AFL win over North Melbourne at the MCG.
The 25-year-old has had his training loads cut, the club taking a cautious approach with the important onballer.
“We just had him on lighter duties, which we usually do anyway, and hopefully he’s able to train well (on Saturday) and get himself ready to play,” coach Alastair Clarkson said on Friday.
“He copped a knock but so did Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Jarman Impey and Ben McEvoy.
“… I’d be surprised if none of them played but we’re not going to take any risks either. We want fresh blokes … early in the season it’s important.”
Clarkson confirmed former skipper Jarryd Roughead will return after he was a late withdrawal with a corked thigh against the Kangaroos.
Both sides will be looking to improve on 2-1 records, with the four-time premiership coach wary of the midfield strength of the Saints, who have confounded gloomy expectations with their bright start.
The match will be Tom Scully’s third for his new club after his off-season switch from GWS.
Clarkson has been encouraged by the early signs shown by the former No.1 draft pick who arrived carrying a significant ankle injury that clouded his AFL future.
At his best, Scully is an elite runner but the coach is keen to temper expectations as he finds his way back to full fitness.
“He was better last week than what he was the week before and hopefully he’ll be a little bit better again this week,” Clarkson said.
“When he actually gets to his peak and the premium of his running capabilities, I’m not too certain. It may be that he never can.
“I don’t know, because of the severity of that ankle injury, whether he’ll ever have the capacity he had previously but we’re excited to try and find out.”
© AAP 2019