Franklin to return to the AFL

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Franklin to return to the AFL

Lance Franklin will finally return to the AFL on Tuesday morning when Sydney’s senior players officially start pre-season training.

The star forward has been out of action since he dramatically took a break before the finals series because of a mental health issue.

It sparked a flurry of rumours and also speculation that his high-profile career might be over.

Franklin spoke publicly for the first time on Monday afternoon since taking the time off, saying he was feeling healthy again and ready for his AFL return.

“I’m really excited to get out there,” he told the club website.

“Day one of pre-season is (today) for me – I’m hungry to get back out there.

“Obviously missing the finals last year was tough (and) it was tough watching, not being there.

“But for me, it was more about getting myself right, getting my health back in order, getting back to being happy.”

Franklin said he has just returned from an overseas holiday.

He added the best thing he could have done was having time away from the AFL and also seeking help.

Franklin thanked fiance Jesinta Campbell, his family and the Swans for their support.

Asked about how hard it had been for the drama to be so public, Franklin replied: “It’s been extremely tough for myself, but the best thing I’ve done is put my hand up and get the help that I needed.

“If you are struggling, I’d definitely recommend that you ask for that help.

“It will change your life.”

Swans coach John Longmire will hold a media conference before the training session.

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