Every day is another step forward for Hawks recruit Jon Patton.

After spending the entirety of 2019 on the sidelines in the aftermath of his third knee reconstruction, Patton showed some promising signs in his first hit-out in the brown and gold in the club's clash with St Kilda on Thursday night, booting three goals. 

"I'm just grateful to be playing footy again," Patton said following Thursday night's game.

"I'm feeling better as each training session and each game goes by."

Patton was one of the Hawks primary sources to goal against the Saints but the former number one pick reiterated the words of his forward coach Adem Yze earlier this week, saying his performances shouldn't be judged simply by his goals tally. 

"I'm just focussing on getting to as many contests as I can, whether that's in the air or on the ground.

"My job is to either mark the ball or bring the ball to ground.

"I think I did that reasonably well tonight but there's obviously still a lot to work on."