Tom Papley recently announced his desire to remain a Swan until at least 2023, turning his back on a return home to Victoria.
Sydney coach John Longmire has confirmed superstar forward Lance Franklin will miss three to four AFL games with a hamstring injury, but there’s better news for two other Swans.
Longmire said ruckman Callum Sinclair (concussion) and Isaac Heeney (cork) both pulled up well after getting injured in last Friday’s win over Hawthorn.
Franklin was forced off the ground during the game.
“He’s disappointed, he’s a competitor, he likes to keep playing all the time,“ Longmire said.
“He’s a bit frustrated because it’s the second time it’s happened this year, off the back of no pre-season.
“But we’ve just got to make sure we make the right decision now with him and rehab him properly, getting back and training before he gets back (for AFL action) to make sure his body is fully conditioned to go.”
Young key forward Tom McCartin is expected to replace Franklin and wasn’t risked in the Swans NEAFL game on the weekend.
“He’s the logical one to come back into the team, he’s been playing good footy for us anyway,” Longmire said.
Longmire understands external commentary that Franklin should put his cue in the rack before the end of this season so he can have a rare full pre-season before next year, but suggested it hadn’t reached that stage yet.
“We understand all the theories. The ones that really matter are the ones that are working with him in our medical and conditioning team,” Longmire said.
“They are the ones that understand Lance the best and over the last few years, he hasn’t done a massive pre-season (but) he’s been able to come in and contribute.
“We’re mindful of what he wasn’t able to do this year, but we’ll treat him as we treat most players, and particularly, we understand that he’s 32 years of age.
‘We’ll make sure he gets a good block of training in before he plays and then play him. That’s the reality of it now.
“He’s got a couple of soft tissues we need to be mindful of.”
Sydney host Gold Coast on Saturday.