Sydney’s injured stars will be put through their paces on Wednesday, with ruckman Kurt Tippett shaping up well in his bold bid to play Friday night’s AFL preliminary final.
Swans coach John Longmire and the club’s medical staff face some tough calls this week, with Tippett (broken jaw), Gary Rohan (bruised leg), Jarrad McVeigh (calf strain) and Callum Mills (hamstring strain) all in doubt for the clash with Geelong.
Scans have cleared both Rohan and McVeigh, who were hurt in the Swans’ semi-final win over Adelaide, of serious damage.
There was a sense of relief at the SCG on Monday, especially for Rohan given the speedster was taken from the field on a stretcher and has endured a luckless run since breaking his leg in 2012.
But McVeigh and Rohan still face an uphill battle as they seek to prove their fitness during a six-day turnaround.
Tippett and Mills, who were injured in week one of the finals, are also in the mix for a recall but likewise have a lot of work to do in a short space of time.
Longmire was reluctant to comment about the quartet’s chances of tackling Geelong, noting the club’s training session on Wednesday would be crucial.
“We don’t want to rule anyone in or out. We’ll give them every opportunity,” Longmire said on Monday.
“We’ll certainly get more of an idea on Wednesday but we may have to wait until Thursday and see how players pull up from training.”
Mills ran laps on Monday morning but Sydney will be reluctant to roll the dice on him and McVeigh given the risk of recurrence with their respective setbacks.
Tippett has trained well since his jaw was inadvertently broken by Callan Ward in a ruck contest and is considered the most likely of the sidelined Swans to be picked.
“He was able to play out the game against GWS. He was able to train really well here on Sunday,” Longmire said.
“It’ll come down to a discussion between coaching staff, medical staff and Kurt on Wednesday. Then we’ll see how he pulls up and how he feels.”
Zak Jones, who has recovered from a nasty concussion, Harry Cunningham and Dean Towers are the frontrunners to be recalled should Longmire be forced to make some changes.
Rohan was clearly distressed and in a lot of pain after hurting himself in a marking contest on Saturday night.
There was no shortage of speculation about the 25-year-old’s setback, with pundits’ diagnoses ranging from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to bone damage.
“That’s why it’s important not to to jump to too many conclusions too early,” Longmire said.
“It was obviously a concern for him and his family after being through what he’s been through a few years ago in that particular leg.
“You can understand his apprehension but it was great news when he got the results back of the scans that the bone itself was in good nick.”