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Hawthorn have put their faith in injured forward Chad Wingard, handing the veteran a one-year contract extension despite his long-term Achilles tendon injury.
Wingard’s future was in grave doubt after rupturing his Achilles in the club’s Round 22 win over the Western Bulldogs.
Out of contract and facing a nine-month recovery period, Wingard was in danger of having his AFL career ended prematurely.
But the 30-year-old would have been full of smiles after the Hawks handed him a one-year extension on Friday.
Hawthorn’s club doctor Liam West said Wingard underwent a successful surgery late last month and the classy forward would look to resume running in the pre-season.
“The surgeon was really pleased with how the operation went, Chad had a really strong repair of his Achilles,” West said in a statement.
“He is already doing really well with his rehabilitation and we hope that he will return to running late in the pre-season, with timelines to become clearer as his rehabilitation progresses.”
The two-time All Australian has played 71 games for the Hawks since joining the club from Port Adelaide prior to the 2019 season.