Sydney veteran Ted Richards’ AFL return remains up in the air, with no assurances he’ll be selected to face the Western Bulldogs as the Swans embark on a crucial three weeks.
Richards (concussion) is in contention for a recall at the SCG on Saturday after returning in the NEAFL last weekend and trained with the team on Tuesday.
But having missed four consecutive weeks of an already injury-hampered season, Swans coach John Longmire could yet opt to give the 33-year-old defender another match in the reserves.
Longmire gave nothing away on Tuesday.
“Teddy Richards played last week so we’ll see how those sessions go this week before we make the decisions,” he said.
“We’d like to be in a position where we sit down and work out which way we go with that.”
An extra week would leave Richards fresher for upcoming crunch clashes against third-placed Geelong and leaders Hawthorn.
With the Swans sandwiched in second amid a top-end logjam, those results could have a big impact on their top-four bid.
Longmire has other defensive calls to make following the mid-season bye, with Jeremy Laidler (knee) available to line up in the back six with in-form defenders Dane Rampe and Heath Grundy.
Laidler trained on Tuesday and will look to prove his fitness throughout the week.
Those decisions will determine whether Aliir Aliir gets a third crack at senior footy after a promising performance in the rain against Melbourne two weekends ago.
Longmire said the Bulldogs’ lack of a standout tall forward would play a part in his selections, but was quick to point out that Luke Beveridge’s side would be no straightforward proposition.
“Their contested ball numbers are absolutely through the roof – they’re almost double everyone else at this point in the season,” he said.
“Their forward line is exciting, they’ve got players like Jake Stringer in their front half who are really exciting players.”
Longmire said Kurt Tippett was recovering well from successful hamstring surgery, and expected Toby Nankervis to again fill his spot in the ruck alongside Callum Sinclair.