HAWTHORN will face Collingwood without key defender Sam Frost and is unlikely to regain star wingman Karl Amon for Saturday's clash at the MCG.
Frost has been ruled out due to the lingering foot injury he has carried throughout 2023, while Amon could miss a second week due to the knee injury that prevented the free agent signing from facing St Kilda in round 20.
Hawks coach Sam Mitchell said James Blanck would return to the 22 to cover the loss of Frost after being activated as the sub in the 29-point loss at Marvel Stadium last Sunday.
"We lose Frosty. He has been managing a foot injury. That's going to force him out, so he won't play this week," Mitchell said on Thursday.
"There will be change in the back half. Getting Blancky back into the side, it does give you a bit of extra height to play on the talls. They've got some aerial threats. They took a lot of contested marks in their forward 50 last week, despite not having a good result on the scoreboard.
"Karl is more unlikely than likely at this stage. He didn't warm up too well on Tuesday, so we'll see if he can get going and see how we go from there."
Brownlow Medal favourite Nick Daicos, who signed an extension this week that ties him to Collingwood until he reaches free agency in 2029, can expect Hawthorn tagger Finn Maginness to follow him around the MCG on Saturday.
Mitchell used the 22-year-old on a variety of big names in 2022 and has used Maginness as a tagger in recent times, most notably on Josh Kelly in round 17 when he kept the Greater Western Sydney star to just six touches at Giants Stadium.
"It is pretty obvious he is going to go to Daicos, isn't it? We'll try and find a way to make that work. He'll go to Daicos and see if he can quell him," Mitchell said.
"He's had such a fantastic season. He is a genuine match-winner and is involved in so much of their play. That means it is going to free up something else for them. We need to find a way to make it work.
"It's not to say it will go on the whole game. They've got so many talented players that Finn could go to. We've had to be flexible again in the last month, so we expect that to happen again."
Gun half-back Changkuoth Jiath hasn't played at AFL level since straining his calf late against Melbourne in round nine. Since then, the 24-year-old has dealt with Achilles soreness and most recently the groin strain he suffered in his second VFL return game last month.
Mitchell remains hopeful Jiath will play again before the end of the home and away season, but with only four games remaining, he is running out of time to add to the eight games he has played in 2023.
"We haven't ruled him out yet. It is one of those ones where we really want him to work towards something at the end of his injury," he said.
"He has traditionally been a little bit slower to recover from these types of injuries. That's proving the same again. I think we'll be able to make a much better assessment in another seven days. By next week, we'll know if he has turned the corner or whether it's time to wrap him up."