Hawthorn are hopeful of regaining Jarryd Roughead ahead of schedule after the injured spearhead stepped up his AFL training program this week.
Roughead, 29, underwent surgery in February to repair a damaged posterior cruciate ligament in his knee and wasn't expected to return to the field until at least round 12.
The four-time premiership player took part in some skills sessions with the main group this week, coach Alastair Clarkson buoyed by his progress.
"He's had a really good rehab to date," Clarkson said. "Hopefully with a bit of ball work over the next couple of weeks he'll get himself right and hopefully be available to play in a month or so."
Such a timeframe could see the full-forward available to return by round 10.
It's good news for the Hawks in the same week they were rocked by a knee injury to skipper Luke Hodge.
The 31-year-old will miss the next four to six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair knee cartilage damage sustained during Hawthorn's 75-point loss to Greater Western Sydney.
The triple-premiership skipper has already missed two matches this season after he broke a forearm in round one but Clarkson has no concerns over the veteran's ongoing durability.
"Both of them are collision injuries but if they were more wear and tear injuries we'd be a bit concerned," he said.
"He's been pretty sound in that regard. If he was starting to break down with a lot of soft-tissue or stress-related injuries then we'd be concerned but these are collision injuries and the way that he plays he's going to have them."