Hawthorn Senior Coach Sam Mitchell will make a phased return to his coaching duties as he continues to recover from a serious case of pneumonia he contracted while on holidays with his family in New York. 

Executive General Manager of Football Rob McCartney said the decision to have a phased return was based on both advice from the medical team who had been handling Mitchell’s case while in New York as well as the club’s own medical team.

“Sam’s health has continued to improve following his discharge from hospital and he is now in the position to return with his family to Melbourne later this week. Whilst this is a positive step, Sam will still need some more time to return to full fitness and health,” McCartney said.

“Sam will initially have a phased return to his role as senior coach, spending time in our program early in the week whilst also continuing to have the rest that is required for him to return quickly to full health.

“Over the past two seasons we have built an experienced and skilled coaching group. I’m extremely confident that when Sam is not present in the program, they will continue to prepare our group so we are ready to perform when the 2024 season starts.

“Our priority at the moment is ensuring that Sam recovers to full health as quickly as possible, and we are confident that this phased return will support this.” 

The club asks that the privacy of both Sam and his family be respected during this time.