A tight calf, the flu and a sore ankle.

It's hardly the injury crisis that Hawthorn dealt with earlier this season, but yesterday's 62-point win over Western Bulldogs threw up some curveballs for coach Alastair Clarkson.

Sam Mitchell, who was sick and perhaps would have played if the stakes were higher, is the least concerning of those.

Mitchell was one of two late scratchings in the 16.11 (107) to 6.9 (45) victory in Launceston, but will be back to tackle Melbourne on Saturday.

Fellow midfielder Isaac Smith also sat on the sidelines as Jarryd Roughead booted six goals and the premiers grabbed top spot on the ladder.

"He was a little bit tight … we'll need to get him assessed this week to determine if he misses another one or not," Clarkson said of Smith's calf.

Jack Gunston was the only notable injury to arise from yesterday's clash, when Hawthorn piled on four goals before the Bulldogs scored.

Gunston limped off in the final quarter, but Clarkson said it wasn't "anything significant".

"If he's a little bit sore when he gets a scan, then he may miss (the Demons). We'll have to wait and see," he said of Gunston.

Matt Suckling, among the Hawks' best with 28 disposals, suggested Gunston's setback wasn't serious.

"I saw him having a sook there before - a bit of ice on the ankle. I think he got kicked in the shin, but he'll be fine," he said.

The Hawks have handled a series of injuries to key personnel this season with aplomb.

Even if Smith and Gunston were out for a handful of weeks, it's unlikely to keep Clarkson awake at night.

"It sounds flippant in a sense when we say 'so be it'," Clarkson said. "But it's just the way you have to be."

Hawthorn are hitting top form and are well-placed to finish as minor premiers for the third season in a row, although they face Fremantle away and Geelong in the final four rounds.

"They are a very, very good team," Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney said. "They'll be pretty hard to beat ... they're probably the best I've seen."

The Hawks have lost just once in their past 19 matches at Aurora Stadium.

Australian Associated Press

The West Australian

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