Tom Papley is a key for the Swans. Pic: Getty Images
Tom Papley is a key for the Swans. Pic: Getty Images

Swans sweat on Papley and Buddy

TOM Papley's growing leadership qualities have been hailed by teammate George Hewett as the Swans sweat on the young star's fitness ahead of Friday night's SCG clash with Essendon.

Both Papley and Lance Franklin will train Wednesday and then be assessed to see if they're deemed good to go.

Franklin has missed the last two matches with a hamstring problem while Papley, elevated to the leadership group ahead of the season, suffered a chest injury in last week's loss to Brisbane.

The 22-year-old came off second best after collecting a knee in the ribs from Brisbane's Oscar McInerney but eventually returned to the action.

John Longmire labelled it "an incredible effort" and Hewett is also full of admiration for his teammate's attitude in what has been a tough season so far.

"Paps already is a very good leader - on and off the field - and he leads by example out there," Hewett said.

"Both he and Will (Hayward) looked dangerous (against the Lions).

"But our leaders have always been proactive every quarter, always looking for ways to do it better but we probably haven't executed it as well as we need to."

George Hewett in action for the Swans. Pic: Getty Images
George Hewett in action for the Swans. Pic: Getty Images

But Papley now faces a race against the clock to make the Essendon clash.

"Tom has pulled up as little bit sore, copped a heavy knock to his chest and ribs. We're hopeful he'll train and get up for the game," said Swans head of football Charlie Gardiner.

Harry Cunningham's adductor tear is expected to keep him out for six to eight weeks while veteran Nick Smith has had further surgery on his hamstring injury, further delaying his return.

However, Gardiner confirmed Dan Menzel would get limited minutes with the Swans' NEAFL side this weekend.

Hewett recorded a career-best 34 disposals in Saturday's loss to the Lions and he remains optimistic about the side's ability to turn their season around.

"The competition's that even that if you play well for four quarters you give yourself the best chance of beating anyone," he said.

"Every team grabs momentum, it's just who can keep that momentum for longest. "Unfortunately, other sides have held on to a bit longer than we have so far."