HAWTHORN'S first Launceston hit-out for 2013 could turn out to be its most painful of the season with a one-point post-siren loss to the Tigers adding insult to a major injury.
The Hawks are likely to be without the services of a key player, running defender Matt Suckling, for the rest of the year.
Suckling's knee buckled under him when he was trying to avoid a tackle from Tigers defender Troy Chaplin in the third quarter, and he was immediately taken from the ground by trainers.
He emerged from the rooms moments later on crutches.
Coach Alastair Clarkson said post-match he believed the 24-year-old had torn his anterior cruciate ligament, although that won't be confirmed until scans have been done.
The Hawks lost the match, played in front of a crowd of 8601, 0.13.7 (85) to 0.13.6 (84), after Richmond's Tasmanian spearhead Jack Riewoldt kicked a goal after the siren.
It left Hawthorn with a 0-4 record in the preseason competition and the unenviable statistic of losing three games by a point.
The Tigers' win gives them a 3-1 win-loss ratio, with the only loss a last-gasp one to North Melbourne.