High-octane recruit Liam Henry will come straight back into the line-up to give the Saints' offensive some added speed and spark in time for Saturday's match against Hawthorn in the Apple Isle, as confirmed this morning by Ross Lyon.

The 22-year-old was last sighted in Saints colours seven weeks ago in an electric outing against Collingwood in Spud's Game; a night soured by the news of Henry's high-grade hamstring strain in the dying moments.

Henry is one of a number of returning players to bolster the squad over the past fortnight, foregoing an easing back into the fray via the VFL after a "seamless" recovery to inject some dash into the forward arc which is currently missing Dan Butler (hamstring) Jack Higgins (suspension).


"Liam Henry will play this week which is exciting for us. We're probably going to spend him a little bit more (as a) deeper forward because he's a goalkicker," Lyon said at this morning's press conference.

"We certainly had a discussion (about bringing him back via the VFL), but his form was so strong in the early weeks and his summer. On a needs-basis (he's got) what we'd like more of which is pace, skill and decision. That doesn't guarantee he'll deliver it, but he's got that capability.

"We've had a few guys come back from rehab like Mason Wood and Jimmy Webster (suspension) that showed they could really run AFL games out and handle the intensity, so that gave us some confidence."

Hawthorn's offensive is similarly poised to receive some handy inclusions up forward through Luke Breust - despite Lyon cheekily keeping his fingers crossed for a groin "flare-up" which had kept him out of the side for six weeks - who kicked an equal-career-best six majors last time the two sides met in Round 20 of last season.

After starting its campaign 0-5, the Hawks have banked two wins in their past three games; most recently a nail-biting seven-point against the Western Bulldogs.

Lyon said the Saints certainly wouldn't be underestimating this week's opposition, even with another week of travel to the Hawks' nest in Launceston - a venue the former haven't overcome the brown and gold at since 2017 - on the horizon.

"They've got great capability. Like all of us, we're all finding out it's a really even season and if you're just off your mettle a little bit you get pulled apart quick," Lyon said.

"We know it's formidable and they love it down there (in Launceston) but we're hungry to improve. We see an opportunity to improve throughout the whole season and that's what excites us.

"We're a growth mindset, we're not a fixed mindset. Strategically with our youth and where we're heading we've got a pretty clear vision, but in the near-term we want to improve our performance and get some wins on the board."

Meanwhile, Hunter Clark will spend another week in the VFL following a contusion to his knee prior to half-time, while Brad Crouch and Dan Butler are still some weeks away recovering from respective knee and hamstring injuries.