Swans lose Tippett and Mills for AFL semi

Sydney ruckman Kurt Tippett and defender Callum Mills have been ruled out of the Swans AFL semi-final against Adelaide and are no certainty to play any further part in the club’s campaign if they advance beyond next weekend.

Tippett suffered a non displaced hairline fracture to his jaw and Mills a grade one hamstring strain in Saturday night’s qualifying loss to the GWS Giants.

In pointers to their potential replacements, defender Jeremy Laidler and ruckman Toby Nankervis were withdrawn from the Swans side which contested Sunday’s NEAFL grand final.

“The seniors have got a game next week and it’s only smart to pull some of your best players out so they are ready for next week,” Swans’ reserves coach Rhyce Shaw said after his team’s four-point loss.

Tippett, who was playing just his third match back after an eight-game layoff following hamstring surgery, will consult a specialist on Monday to determine the best course of action.

Rising Star winner Mills, who had played 21 of 23 games this season, suffered the lowest grade of hamstring strain, offering him a little hope of him playing again if the Swans stay alive beyond next weekend.

Another possible replacement for Mills, 21-year-old Zak Jones, suffered a blow to his chances of playing when he was stretchered off in the final quarter of Sunday’s game after suffering a head knock.

“The medical staff will look at him and weigh up what happens in the morning, but he seems OK,” Shaw said.

Sydney didn’t really have the luxury of also withdrawing Jones from the NEAFL decider.

He had only played one NEAFL game last week after missing the Swans’ final six home and away round matches with an ankle injury.

“Jonesy only played the one game previously and he probably needed the run,” Shaw said.

“I’m sure he would have been up for selection next week.”

Laidler was an emergency for Saturday’s match and started the Swans’ first 12 games of the season, but hasn’t featured in their past nine AFL fixtures.

He would appear to have the advantage over Jones and veteran key position player Ted Richards, who might have made his final appearance for the club on Sunday, if he can’t break back into the senior side before the end of the season.

Richards, who is retiring at the end the season, hasn’t played a senior game since round 17.

Nankervis has played six senior games this year.

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