Swans have AFL grand final injury worries

Sydney’s injury hits keep coming and they could make three changes for the AFL grand final.

Defender Aliir Aliir hurt a knee when he landed awkwardly in the first quarter of Friday night’s preliminary final win over Geelong.

He did not return to the match and is certain to undergo scans.

Co-captain Jarrad McVeigh was forced out of the match with a calf injury, but the utility said at a pre-game function that he was only a couple of days away from being able to play.

Rising Star winner Callum Mills will also try to stake his claim for a grand final recall as he recovers from a hamstring injury.

The Swans made the right injury calls for the preliminary final, with Gary Rohan cleared to play after hurting his leg the previous week.

Kurt Tippett also returned from a jaw fracture and the two players had solid matches.

“You deal with that – we had it this week,” coach John Longmire said of their injuries.

“You work through it and if the players aren’t fit, they don’t play.”

Longmire would not be drawn into what might happen ahead with selections for next Saturday’s grand final against either the Giants or Western Bulldogs.

“I don’t deal in ifs, buts and maybes on a Friday night,” he said.

In the semi-final win over Adelaide last weekend, Rohan hurt the same leg that suffered an horrific compound fracture four years ago.

But after struggling for a couple of days, Rohan did enough at training to convince the Swans he would be right to play.

“He showed enormous strength to get up, get through that,” Longmire said.

“He doesn’t need much of the ball to be really influential.

“He hurries opposition defenders up and that’s an important attribute to have – (Lance) Franklin does the same thing.”

Franklin had a massive first quarter and helped the Swans maul Geelong with seven goals to nil.

While the Cats rallied in the second half, that fearsome start was decisive.

It was reminiscent of what Hawthorn did to Sydney at the start of the 2014 grand final.

The Swans are now into their third grand final in five years, having lost to the Hawks two years ago and beating them in the epic 2012 clash.

“It was enormous, our pressure at the ball (and) at the man with the ball,” Longmire said of Friday’s start.

Sydney were remarkably efficient in attack, kicking 15.7 from just 40 inside 50s.

Geelong had 72 inside 50s and only managed 8.12.

“But you’re only efficient if you build it on the back of your ferocity at the contest,” Longmire said.

The Swans coach also was pleased with how well they have regenerated over the last couple of years.

Four of their players made their MCG debuts on Friday night.

It was put to Longmire that Sydney’s grand final opponent will be out to create history.

“So are we,” was his response.

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