Buddy will be back for pre-season: Swans

Lance Franklin is already training and will be a certain starter in Sydney’s pre-season program, according to the AFL club.

Franklin was unavailable for the Swans’ entire finals campaign, having taken a break due to a mental health condition.

The superstar forward was a notable absentee from the club’s best and fairest.

It led to speculation that Franklin, who left Hawthorn to sign a nine-year deal with the Swans in 2013, could walk away from the sport.

The reality is Franklin had a positive end-of-season meeting this month with the club.

Swans football manager Tom Harley revealed on Friday Franklin had already started to shape up for pre-season training.

“He’ll be back when the other players are due for sure. He’s training at the moment,” Harley said at the end of trade period.

“Lance will be involved for sure. He’s in preparation for pre-season mode, which is what players do now.

“He’s in good spirits and in pretty good physical condition as well.”

The Swans’ senior players, including Franklin, are due to start pre-season training on December 3.

Meanwhile, Harley was content the decision to recruit Western Bulldogs defender Michael Talia was sound.

Talia is being investigated for leaking game-sensitive information to brother Daniel in the lead-up to an elimination final between the Bulldogs and Adelaide.

“You obviously do your due diligence. We’re really comfortable,” Harley said.

“You ask all the questions – talk to the player, the manager and the AFL. We’re really comfortable with where Michael is at.”

The Swans and Greater Western Sydney also traded down the draft to bank more points under the new academy bidding system.

“We’ve got a net gain of 235 points, so we know that our position has improved,” Harley said.

“You’ve got to be careful about (calling it) exploiting. They are the rules and there weren’t any trades that were knocked back as far as I know.”

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