A lingering back injury will keep an increasingly frustrated Lance Franklin sidelined for Sydney’s AFL finals-defining clash against Collingwood on Friday night.
Franklin has missed two of the Swans’ previous three matches but was hopeful of returning as the fifth-placed Swans look to regain a spot in the top four.
But after again failing to train on Wednesday, the Swans’ medical staff made the decision to give him at least one more week to recover.
“If there’s one thing I know about Lance it is that he’s a competitor,” Sydney’s general manager of football Tom Harley told the Swans’ website.
“We were hopeful that Lance would get up this week but he has not been able to get over the appropriate hurdles so he will have another week on the sidelines.”
In better news for the Swans, ruckman Mike Pyke, Gary Rohan and Ben McGlynn all trained on Wednesday and remain chances to return and bolster the side which was over-run by Geelong by 32 points last weekend.
Franklin kicked three goals in the win over Adelaide at the SCG two weeks ago but struggled with a sore back during the match, the injury preventing him from playing against West Coast in Perth a week earlier.
Swans officials are hoping for a big crowd when they host Collingwood at the SCG for the first time in 15 years.
The Magpies sit in 11th place and six points outside the top eight and come into the match after defeating Carlton by 18 points, recording their first win in seven matches.
Midfielder Dan Hannebery is expecting a tough game.
“Their win-loss record probably doesn’t reflect the footy they’ve played. I think they’ve only just come up short against Freo and the Hawks and have played some really good footy throughout the year,” he said.
“We know what we are up against and obviously their midfield is a super-star midfield and it’s going to be an extremely tough test.”