Tom Scully in action at Hawthorn training. Picture: Getty Images
Tom Scully in action at Hawthorn training. Picture: Getty Images

Will Scully be a boom or bust recruit for the Hawks?

There were no guarantees Tom Scully would play again.

The talk in trade time last year was that his right ankle injury was so bad it posed a significant risk to the running machine's career, even after almost a full year off.

The damage to the ligaments and bone had been likened to car accident trauma.

Certainly, the Giants weren't sure how much good footy if any Scully, 27, had left in him when they pushed the button on a trade with the Hawks in return for a future-fourth round draft pick.

For an elite wingman, that is absolute peanuts.

GWS had an important strategy to create about $2 million of salary cap room, and the call to move on Scully helped put the Giants in a position to demand two first-round draft picks for Dylan Shiel from Essendon.

But almost four months into his new life as a Hawk, there is growing optimism at Waverley this exchange is going to be more boom, than bust for the brown and gold.

In fact, the Hawks could yet hit the trade jackpot, once again.

The Hawthorn medicos were confident from the start that Scully's issue could be rectified, even if some at other clubs held grave fears.

But, while we have focused more on Tom Mitchell's devastating broken leg and the Hawks' replacement options, Scully has quietly kept ticking boxes in his recovery.

He has progressed nicely with his load bearing and running, in particular, since Christmas.

Hawthorn officials have been loath to put a time frame on a potential AFL return as he is a week-by-week scenario.

If things continue to tick along smoothly, there's a genuine chance we could see Scully return to the fold around mid-season.

That would be a huge win for Alastair Clarkson as he attempts to plot a return to the top-four, even without Mitchell.

Tom Scully was injured in his final game for the Giants. Picture: Getty Images
Tom Scully was injured in his final game for the Giants. Picture: Getty Images

A No. 1 draft pick, Scully will need a 10-week pre-season or so to build some match fitness after almost a year-and-a-half out of the game with the ankle problem.

But we are talking about a man who, along with Geelong's Mark Blicavs, is probably the best gut-runner in the game. No one works harder, according to Leon Cameron.

They'll be extremely cautious, the Hawks. They've worked wonders with Jaeger O'Meara, Shaun Burgoyne and Brian Lake before, so they know how these sorts of comebacks go.

But the early signs are that this is looking like another trade and medical masterstroke from the brown and gold.

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News Corp Australia


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