Superstar Sydney forward Lance Franklin will be sidelined indefinitely after the AFL club revealed on Tuesday he was being treated for a serious mental health condition.
Swans’ coach John Longmire said Franklin’s condition was treatable, but he refused to put a time-frame on when his champion spearhead might return to action.
Franklin has definitely been ruled out of Saturday’s qualifying final against minor premiers Fremantle in Perth.
“It’s a serous condition, that he needs to spend some time away from the football club, and he certainly won’t be playing this week,” Longmire told reporters.
“How long that will take – we’ll just have to wait and see.
“Obviously our thoughts are with Lance and we hope that he’s going to be okay.
“We understand he’s certainly got the best possible care to be able to address the condition that he’s got and we’re very confident that he will be able to get better very soon.
“We obviously can’t put a time-frame on it.”
Longmire would not confirm whether or not Franklin was in a mental health facility.
Asked how long he had been aware of Franklin’s condition, Longmire said it had been an ongoing issue.
“We ask everyone to be respectful of (Franklin’s privacy),” Longmire said.
“It’s a condition that is very treatable but he needs time to be able to address it and that’s what we’re doing at the moment.”
Franklin, in his second season at Sydney, has been struggling to produce his best in recent weeks owing to a back injury.
The two-time premiership winner with Hawthorn was Sydney’s best player in their heavy grand final defeat to the Hawks last year.
Franklin joins key midfielders Kieren Jack and Luke Parker on the sidelines as the Swans attempt to secure an unlikely home preliminary final with victory over red-hot favourites Fremantle.
Jack strained a medial ligament in the Swans’ round 23 win over Gold Coast, while Parker is still recovering from a broken leg.