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Rookie Tatupu out for the season

Shem Tatupu injury update Get an update on Hawks International rookie Shem Tatupu.
Shem Tatupu in action during a Hawthorn Hawks pre-season training camp at Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex, Sunshine Coast. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Shem Tatupu in action during a Hawthorn training session.

INTERNATIONAL Hawthorn rookie Shem Tatupu will miss the remainder of the season with stress fractures in his foot.

General Manager – Football Operations Chris Fagan confirmed the injury to on Wednesday, revealing the key forward/ruckman prospect felt soreness in his foot at a training session a few weeks ago.

Tatupu was sent for scans, which revealed stress fractures that will force him onto the sidelines for the rest of the season.

“We had some X-rays and scans on that that turned out to be stress fractures, which have required surgery,” Fagan said.

“That means, unfortunately that he’ll be out for the rest of the season.”

It is the same injury in which the New Zealand native suffered last year that saw him spend most of the pre-season in rehab.

Tatupu eventually overcame the injury to begin his AFL journey with VFL affiliate Box Hill’s Development team, where he showed promise as a key forward.

Tatupu played in Box Hill’s one and only Foxtel Cup game earlier this year, when last year’s VFL premiers were beaten by West Perth at Etihad Stadium.

He had a breakout game for Box Hill’s reserves a month ago in their win over Casey in June, where he kicked two goals, had 14 disposals and took nine marks.

“It’s something we’re not all that happy about because Shem has been developing really well,” Fagan said.

Fagan said it was disappointing for the 18 year old to have to spend more time out of the game he’s still learning.

He said while the opportunity to learn on the job isn’t there for the rest of the year, Tatupu will be spending time with the coaches to continue to learn and develop his AFL skills.

“In the meantime, he’s learning as much as he can about the game – working with the coaches watching vision and going to games.

“Hopefully he’ll make the most of this time and when he returns next year, he can have a real impact.”

Shem Tatupu in action during pre-season.

At 197cm and 98kg, Tatupu possesses great physical strength, marking, speed and agility for his size.

He was first identified by Hawthorn Recruiting and List Manager Graham Wright in Fiji during a tournament in 2009 as a 14-year-old.

He was signed under the International Scholarship Scheme in 2011 before agreeing to join Hawthorn as a category B rookie at the end of last year.

Tatupu is one of two international rookies on Hawthorn list, alongside defender Kurt Heatherley.

View the club’s official injury list here.