Sydney will soon find out the full impact of their AFL grand final loss, with scans expected to confirm Dan Hannebery has avoided a serious knee injury.
Hannebery was helped off the field during the fourth quarter of the season decider following a nasty collision with Western Bulldogs skipper Easton Wood.
Wood dived on the loose ball that Hannebery was about to pick up, inflicting a painful blow to the midfielder’s left knee in the process.
Hannebery briefly returned to the field but was in obvious discomfort and played no further part in the game.
The 25-year-old and Sydney medicos remain confident it is a medial ligament strain and nothing more serious. The Swans are likewise upbeat about the extent of Lance Franklin’s ankle injury.
“Nobody wants to sit on the bench and watch the boys go pretty hard at it and come up short … I’m a little bit sore,” Hannebery said on Sunday.
“I’m not too worried. I’ve got a fair bit of time now to relax and get it right.”
Hannebery’s injury was arguably a turning point in the match as Western Bulldogs led by only seven points when it occurred.
Franklin rolled his ankle early in the first term. The superstar forward threatened to spark his side with a fourth-quarter goal but was below his best for most of the day.
Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker carried minor niggles into the game but were both among Sydney’s best, especially the former who finished second in Norm Smith medal voting.
Hannebery refused to blame the various injuries for Sydney’s patchy performance.
“There’s no way you can say that was a factor at all,” the on-baller said.
“Luke I thought played OK in parts, he’s a warrior for us. Buddy played OK as well.
“They had a few guys – Dale Morris with his back – they had a number of guys who were sore as well.
“But once you’re out there, you’re 100 per cent and ready to go.”
Hannebery noted the result would “burn for a while and it’s probably what will drive hopefully the group to get better”.
“We need to get better … a few guys were really gallant and kept us in the game and certainly a couple of guys probably could have had better days.
“You need 22 contributors.”