Alastair Clarkson feels he will be ready to coach in the “not-so-distant future”, but Hawthorn’s premiership mentor won’t be rushing things as he recovers from Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).
Speaking publicly for the first time since he was diagnosed with the auto-immune condition last week, Clarkson released a video message on Wednesday via the Hawks’ website.
“Just wanting to let everyone know I’m going OK,” Clarkson said.
“I’ve been a bit scratchy and slow with my movement and my balance, but I’m getting stronger each day.
“I feel like I’m getting ready to get back into the footy side of things in the not-so-distant future.
“But I just need to be a bit patient and rest.”
Clarkson was in good spirits as he thanked fans for their messages of support, gifts and get-well-soon cards.
The man who guided the Hawks to grand-final wins in 2008 and 2013 even cracked a joke at the expense of Hawthorn’s ruck coach Damian Monkhorst.
“I’ll end up being the size of Damian Monkhorst if I eat all the food that’s been gifted in the last few days,” he said.
“That (messages of support) has been an enormous help with the recovery I’m going through – to know that there’s so many people that are looking out for us and wanting to help the footy club in some sort of way while I’m out of action.”
Clarkson said he would only return to the club once he had fully recovered.
Hawthorn chief executive Stuart Fox suggested earlier this week that date was at least another four matches away.
Caretaker Brendon Bolton, whose first game in charge was last Sunday’s tense seven-point win over Greater Western Sydney, will continue to hold the reins.
“Bolts will do a great job in my absence,” Clarkson said.
“Our footy club is in great hands with Bolts and Fages (general manager of football operations Chris Fagan), our great coaches and leaders.
“I’m looking forward to the boys having another great win on the weekend against the West Coast Eagles.”