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Birchall can see the light at the end of the tunnel

Bupa Recovery Report: Round 13 Hear from Hannah and Andrew as they discuss the fortunately short injury list for Hawthorn.

You get the sense Grant Birchall can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Birchall has not played since Round 15 last year and has only managed five games across the past two seasons.

Speaking to the tripleM Rush Hour team on Wednesday, Birchall said it had been a challenging time.

“It’s been a very frustrating last 12 to 18 months,” Birchall said.

“But, prior to that, I’ve had a really good run so I can’t complain too much.

Birchall said he is currently restricted to a conditioning program as he reacclimatises his body to the demands of AFL football, with his re-introduction into training with the team “a couple of weeks away”.

“The knee is feeling really good at the moment, I just have to get the work in now because I haven’t done much running.”

In the lead-up to Shaun Burgoyne’s 350th game against Adelaide this Saturday night, Birchall reminisced on the time when, hobbling on crutches, Burgoyne first arrived at the club in 2009.

Birchall said the recruit initially raised eyebrows around the club given the uncertainty surrounding Burgoyne’s body.

“He was rocking that helmet there for a while as well, he had that for the first couple of months at the footy club,” Birchall joked.

“Not many people thought he would last the first couple of years but here he is playing his 350th game.”

Birchall almost struggled for words to describe the talent that Burgoyne possesses.

“Some of the things he does out on the footy field are extraordinary.

“He is called Silk for a reason.

“But also, how hard and tough he is, is pretty underrated.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs