Shocking health update on Hawthorn AFL coach Sam Mitchell as he continues to battle pneumonia that landed him in hospital in New York
- Sam Mitchell in New York while battling pneumonia
- The Hawthorn coach had to be taken to hospital
- Illness has forced a major change in his 2024 season
Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell is still in New York after being struck down with pneumonia and his workload will be reduced after he returns to Australia later this week.
Mitchell spent Christmas in a New York hospital after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia while on holiday abroad with family.
The 41-year-old has now been discharged and will return home later this week.
Hawthorn issued an update on Mitchell's condition on Monday, saying he would return to his coaching duties in a 'phased manner'.
The club's general football manager, Rob McCartney, said the decision to bring him back was based on the advice of the medical team that treated Mitchell, as well as the club's doctors.
Sam Mitchell is still in New York after being hospitalized with pneumonia
Mitchell (pictured with his wife and children at the Australian Football Hall of Fame ceremony) was released from hospital, but his 2024 season will be disrupted
“Sam's health has continued to improve following his discharge from hospital and he is now in a position to return to Melbourne with his family later this week,” McCartney said in a statement.
'Although this is a positive step, Sam will need some more time to get back to full fitness and health.
“Sam will initially return to his role as senior coach in a phased manner, spending time in our program early in the week, while also continuing to get the rest needed to return to full health quickly.
'Over the past two seasons we have built up an experienced and professional coaching group.
“I am confident that if Sam is not in the program, they will continue to prepare our group so that we are ready to perform when the 2024 season begins.
“Our priority at this time is to ensure that Sam makes a full health recovery as quickly as possible, and we are confident that this phased return will support this.”
Hawthorn said the coach will make a phased return to his duties when he returns to Australia
Mitchell has guided Hawthorn to just 15 wins in 45 games since taking charge in a messy handover from former coach Alastair Clarkson two years ago.