Lance Franklin and Nick Blakey do some social distance training together. Picture: Toby Zerna
Lance Franklin and Nick Blakey do some social distance training together. Picture: Toby Zerna

Will Buddy be ready for AFL hubs?

Sydney spearhead Lance Franklin will be eased back into the AFL through limited game time as he recovers from knee troubles.

The dynamite forward brought up his 300th AFL game in round 23 last year after missing nine rounds because of a hamstring injury.

After starting the pre-season in promising fashion, the 33-year-old suffered a knee setback, which required surgery, in January.

Swans coach John Longmire said Franklin could still have a devastating impact if only used in short spells.

 

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"He's very important, not only for us, but for the competition to have back in playing," he told Fox Footy.

"We'd be mindful if we came in expecting him to play 90-to-100 minutes, he might not play for another couple of games after that.

"We'd want to make sure we ease him back in.

"While he's training at the moment, he hasn't done any competing work; that's going to take a number of weeks before he gets his body used to that.

Lance Franklin completing some social distance training. Picture: Toby Zerna
Lance Franklin completing some social distance training. Picture: Toby Zerna
 

"We'd imagine him starting off with a low number - 50, 60 minutes or something like that before he gets into the groove of training." Franklin sat out Sydney's round one in Adelaide against the Crows before the season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The four-time Coleman medallist had been ruled out of the first two rounds but the indefinite competition suspension has allowed him to build up fitness.

As a decision on the resumption of the AFL season draws closer, Longmire has plenty of other issues on his plate

 

Only eight Swans players are based in NSW and while some have started filtering back from interstate, it will take a while to get the team ready to play again.

He argued for a four-week mini pre-season to avoid a spate of injuries when footy resumes.

"These guys preparing in gyms and home garages - that's a long way to playing AFL footy, especially with what is going to be a pretty tough schedule coming up.

"We don't want to put these players at risk.

"They are professional athletes … we'd like to get them back under the guidance of AFL professionals."

Originally published as Will Buddy be ready for footy hubs?



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