Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson wants Jarryd Roughead to have a last AFL hurrah on his own terms.
While Clarkson is open to giving Roughead a farewell game, provided the circumstances are right, he's confident the former captain will earn a senior recall before the end of the season.
Roughead has been out of the seniors since round seven and this is surely the last season for the 32-year-old.
The four-time premiership player has played six senior games this year for a career total of 281.
"I'd much prefer for Roughy to finish his career in the seniors on the terms how he wants to go out - there's every chance he'll do that," Clarkson told AFL360.
"He knows he's in the seconds for a reason and that is partly because we need to look at the next generation who can play key forward for our footy club.
"But (it's) also because he wasn't able to ... provide for us the type of contest that we needed in our front end.
"When he can do that on a consistent basis at Box Hill level, he'll give himself a chance to be playing senior footy again."
Former Hawthorn star Jordan Lewis is also out of the Melbourne seniors.
Clarkson has great admiration for the persistence that Roughead and Lewis are showing in the VFL.
"Both of them would be disappointed, running around playing seconds footy, but it's a measure of both the men in a sense that they're prepared to do that," he said.
"To both those lads' credits, they're going to try to work their way back into the side, which I expect both of them to do before the end of the year."
If it comes down to Roughead possibly having a farewell game, Clarkson said factors such as where Hawthorn are at in their season and whether the former skipper wants one last senior match will need to be considered.
"There's sentiment involved in footy - and if it's an appropriate time and all the stars are aligned that way, there's a chance it could happen," Clarkson said.
Australian Associated Press