Lance Franklin in action last year. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Lance Franklin in action last year. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Buddy no certainty for Round 1

Lance Franklin could be missing when Sydney opens its 2019 season against the Western Bulldogs.

The four-time Coleman Medallist underwent groin surgery in November and has yet to join in full pre-season training.

Swans coach John Longmire suggested it was unlikely Franklin as well as recruit Daniel Menzel and ruckman Sam Naismith would be ready for the March 23 clash at Marvel Stadium.

"Menzel and Franklin had a similar operation, they're running, they're not yet training, so we're not sure whether they'll be right for Round 1," Longmire told SEN.



Daniel Menzel in action at Sydney training.
Daniel Menzel in action at Sydney training.


"To be honest, they'll play when they're ready. They won't play the JLT Series.

"It's one game (Round 1) and we've got to make sure they're ready to go to play a full season of footy."

Franklin has traditional enjoyed facing the Bulldogs, kicking 58 goals in 18 games.

Longmire also revealed Naismith was making good progress from a knee reconstruction but was no certainty for Round 1. Naismith went down during pre-season training last year.

"He's going OK, he's running, he's not training yet, so he won't be available for the start of the season," he said.

"He had the knee reconstruction last year and he had a minor cleanout just before Christmas and so that's helped him get through so far.

"We're not pushing him along too hard. He's a significant player for us in the ruck and missed all of last year, so we hope to get him back within that first four to six weeks."

Callum Sinclair stepped into the No.1 ruck role last year and claimed a top-10 finish in the Bob Skilton Medal.


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