Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell remains in New York after suffering from a serious bout of pneumonia.
Mitchell was hospitalised with a deteriorating condition of pneumonia in late December and was forced to spend Christmas Day in a hospital bed.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Sam Mitchell still in New York.
Analysis, local footy and the biggest moments, Seven and 7plus are the home of footy shows for every fan. Stream them all for free on 7plus >>
The 41-year-old was discharged before the new year but remains in New York with his family.
The Hawks are due to return to pre-season training on Wednesday, but Mitchell won’t be there and will have a staggered return to the club.
GM of football Rob McCartney said Mitchell will return to Melbourne later this week before slowly returning to the club.
Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell admitted to hospital in New York
Major Sam Mitchell health update after spending Christmas in hospital
“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.
Sam Mitchell will miss Hawthorn’s return to pre-season training. Credit: Getty Images
“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.”
Mitchell just finished his second season as coach of the Hawks after taking over from Alastair Clarkson.
He steered the Hawks to seven wins and, while they finished above only North Melbourne and West Coast on the ladder, Mitchell has been praised for his efforts with a young and inexperienced list.
The club completed a busy off-season with the trade acquisitions of Collingwood premiership player Jack Ginnivan, fan-favourite Jack Gunston, versatile tall Mabior Chol and speedy defender Massimo D’Ambrosio.
They also traded out Tyler Brockman, Jacob Koschitzke and Brandon Ryan to continue their aggressive list rebuild.
The Hawks drafted Nick Watson with pick No.5 in the national draft, while they also added father-son pair Will McCabe and Calsher Dear.