Injured Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell has left the door open for a shock return in 2019 but admits he won’t be taking any short cuts in his recovery.
Mitchell, 25, sustained a broken leg during a pre-season training session in January and is likely to miss the entire season.
Last year’s Brownlow Medallist remains optimistic about his chances of returning if the Hawks can secure a top eight spot.
“I’d love to play. If the team can push towards finals I would love to be a part of that,” Mitchell told The Oval Office.
“I think with these types of injuries you can’t take any sort of risk and I wouldn’t want to put the rest of my career in jeopardy.
“My priority will be to get fully fit and whenever the time is that will be.”
Alastair Clarkson’s side sit 3-3 after six rounds and take on Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.
TITCH TO RETURN IN 2019?@HawthornFC superstar Tom Mitchell tells The Oval Office "if the team can push towards finals I'd love to be a part of that."— The Oval Office (@OvalOfficeAFL) April 29, 2019
Hawks fans, does that sound like Mitchell hasn't ruled out a return in 2019 completely? pic.twitter.com/9gSvCrpBrv