Franklin ready for restart
SYDNEY superstar Lance Franklin is ready for round two of the AFL season, while fellow forward Sam Reid may also be in the mix after recovering from knee surgery during the COVID-19 stoppage.
Franklin underwent a knee arthroscopy in January and wasn’t able to take part in the Swans’ season-opening victory over Adelaide.
Reid, who also missed round one after a pre-season marred by injuries, had an arthroscope in March.
The suspension of the AFL season came at a good time for both key forwards, allowing four-time Coleman medallist Franklin to build the sort of fitness base that should help him be a threat when play resumes.
“Lance is going really well. One of the silver linings of this period has been that it’s given players who had limited preparation a bit more time to get right,” Swans football manager Charlie Gardiner said.
“He’s certainly one of them.
“He was just restarting skills training before the competition suspension, but he’s been able to train throughout the shutdown period.
“He’s been running and completing all the training that we’ve asked him to. He’s ready to go and looking forward to a restart, hopefully soon.”
The AFL is expected to reveal its resumption plan this week, including a return to play at some stage in June.
The exact date of round two may determine whether Reid, who has resumed running, and Ben Ronke (knee) are part of the Swans’ side that will seek to make it a 2-0 start to the year.
“We are hopeful that he (Reid) will be close to available, but it will depend on the timelines and how quickly things ramp up from here,” Gardiner said.
The Swans hope Ronke, who hyper-extended his knee in round one, will soon resume running.
A hamstrung Franklin managed just 10 games in 2019, the same year which marked the first time Sydney missed the finals since 2009.
Swans coach John Longmire has made it clear he will ease the 33-year-old, whose monster nine-year deal expires at the end of the 2022 season, back whenever he returns.
“He’s very important, not only for us, but for the competition to have back in playing,” Longmire said last month.
“We’d be mindful if we came in expecting him to play 90 to 100 minutes, he might not play for another couple of games after that.”
(C) AAP 2020