HAWTHORN star Cyril Rioli is learning a new running technique, which he hopes will help stop the hamstring problems that have plagued his season.

Rioli missed two matches after straining his right hamstring against Geelong in round five, and re-aggravated the injury against Essendon last Friday night, ruling him out of Sunday's huge clash with Collingwood.

The small forward missed three matches with a tear to the same hamstring in 2009, and also tore his left hamstring in the elimination final loss to Fremantle at the end of 2010.

"The last few weeks I've been going back with the trainers and they're teaching me how to run again, which is a bit hard," Rioli revealed on radio 3AW on Sunday afternoon.

"(I'm working on taking) smaller steps, getting upright.

"So I've been focussing on that all week, looking at vision."

The Hawks indicated during the week that they'd take a cautious approach with the 21 year-old in a bid to get his body right, and were unlikely to re-introduce him to the team until after their round 17 bye.

Rioli was widely tipped to spend more time in the midfield this season, but the injuries have meant he's been kept closer to goal.

However, the 2008 premiership player said he hasn't given up hope of becoming an onballer in the future.

"I'd like to be in the middle a bit more, but because my fitness isn't that great and the 'hammies' get a load playing in the midfield, I'm pretty happy playing forward," he said.

"Hopefully over the next few pre-seasons I can get my fitness right up and I can get my running technique right, and then we'll see how we go."

Rioli also gave a strong endorsement to Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, who is out of contract at the end of 2011.

The club and Clarkson have agreed to put discussions about a new agreement on hold until the end of this season, despite the Hawks' excellent 10-3 start.

"I'd love to have him as my coach for the rest of my career," Rioli said.

"He's such a good person and a good coach, so hopefully he sticks around for a lot more time."

Mark Macgugan writes for hawthornfc.com.au and covers Hawthorn news for afl.com.au Follow him on Twitter: @mmacgugan