Sydney will be forced to rejig their forward line for the remainder of their AFL finals campaign after confirmation Lance Franklin and Sam Reid won’t play again this season.
Franklin missed the Swans qualifying final loss to Fremantle last weekend due to a mental health issue and Reid suffered a torn hamstring in that match.
“Lance won’t be playing for the rest of the season,” Swans’ coach John Longmire said on Monday.
“We are mindful of his mental health issue and it is something that will need to be addressed and that is his main priority, to get that right.
“Footy isn’t on the agenda for Lance for the rest of the season.”
Reid had been in outstanding form grabbing ten or more marks in his three previous games, before getting injured in the second quarter of last Saturday’s game.
“It’s generally a four to five week injury, so that’s it for Sam,” Longmire said.
Complicating the forward mix is that Kurt Tippett, who has kicked 13 goals in Sydney’s last four games, isn’t likely to be used as a fulltime spearhead against North.
He will almost certainly be required to work in tandem with Mike Pyke in the ruck duel against North’s Todd Goldstein.
“His (Pyke’s) knees have generally been holding up pretty well at the back end of the year, but it’s a big job to ruck against Goldstein one out,” Longmire said.
“We’d like to have Kurt a bit more in the front half but you’re also aware of the workload you’ve got when you play against probably one of the best ruckman to have played this year.”
Longmire hinted he would tinker with the composition of his forward line.
“Whether we go a bit smaller or we make some positional changes, which is a distinct possibility,” Longmire said.
He expected utility Ben McGlynn to be better for his run last weekend, when he played just his second senior game in the last 14 contested by Sydney.
Longmire was happy with the emergence of youngster Dean Towers who played impressively up forward against Fremantle and was looking for another strong game from veteran Adam Goodes, who he said played with a spring in his step against the Dockers.
Defender Nick Smith, who missed the last two games with a hamstring issue, was expected to run on Tuesday and would be available for the weekend if he came through training on Thursday.
Longmire thought it unlikely injured midfielders Kieren Jack and Luke Parker would be fit for Saturday, though the latter’s broken leg is coming along well.
“Luke Parker is walking past my office and doing cartwheels, but he’d have to do a pretty good set of cartwheels for the rest of the week to be able to play,” Longmire said.