Buddy sidelined again

April 30, 2019 1:00 pm in by

STRUGGLERS Sydney won’t risk rushing back superstar forward Lance Franklin from a hamstring strain for Saturday’s AFL away match against Brisbane.

Franklin, 32, was a late withdrawal from last weekend’s Sydney derby.

The Swans suffered a third-straight loss and are languishing in 16th spot with a 1-5 record.

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Franklin, who in round five moved past Essendon great Matthew Lloyd into seventh spot on the VFL-AFL leading goalkickers list, didn’t play any pre-season games, after undergoing groin surgery late last year.

“We’re pretty confident he’ll be available next week,” Swans coach John Longmire said on Tuesday.

“We scanned him on Friday morning and there was a slight strain there, and we looked at that and talked about it last week and again this week.

“I guess if you push along the lines of getting him ready and prepared for a full training session on the Thursday and what risk that puts him under.

“He had a limited pre-season, age, all those things ,come into it and we’ve decided not to take the risk.

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“It’s too big a risk to take, as much as we’d love him back in the team.”

Sydney could regain a forward this week with livewire youngster Will Hayward making good progress from the broken jaw he suffered back in round three

“He’s a possibility to come back into the team this week, so we’ll assess that on Thursday,'” Longmire said.

“He’s seeing the specialist but he’s been training well.

“We’ll be absolutely guided by what the medical professionals say in that regard.

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“If they say he’s not right he won’t play, but if they say he’s right he’ll play.”

Longmire wasn’t sure about the availability this week of veteran Kieren Jack, who missed last Saturday’s game with a hip issue

He said forward Dan Menzel, who also underwent off-season groin surgery, could return through the reserves the weekend after next if he trains well in the intervening period.

© AAP 2019