K rock Football

Buddy a chance to take on Dogs

Lance Franklin is a chance to play in Sydney’s Round 1 clash with the Western Bulldogs. (AAP Image/Dylan Coker)

A SHARP and happy Lance Franklin is a chance of playing Sydney’s AFL season opener against the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.

Swans coach John Longmire says Franklin, who had off-season groin surgery, had trained for a couple of weeks and did very well at training on the weekend.

“He’s looking sharp, pulling up well,” Longmire said on Monday.

“We’re in the middle of those discussions now, we’ll see how training goes tomorrow.

“We’ll know a bit more before Thursday but we want to make sure we get all those facts in place before we make that final decision whether he plays or not, and obviously Lance has a big say in that as well.

“He’s got a track record of understanding his own body.”

Longmire said it was a case of looking at Franklin’s total workload rather than just his work on the training track this week.

“He’s not knocking on my door but every time I’ve walked past him he’s had a smile on his face, a thumbs up and ‘I’m ready to go’,” Longmire said.

The premiership-winning coach revealed forward recruit Dan Menzel, who also underwent groin surgery, was tracking well but was a little behind Franklin.

“We’ll make sure we have that discussion, be smart how many of those guys will play as well just to understand that round one is going to be hot; it always is and want to make sure our team is fit and ready to go,” Longmire said.

Sam Reid, Lewis Melican and Callum Mills, all of who missed large chunks of last season, were ready to go according to Longmire while Isaac Heeney, who rolled an ankle in pre-season, won’t train until Thursday but should be OK for round one.

Longmire stressed first-round draft pick and exciting young forward Nick Blakey was in the mix for the Bulldogs clash, irrespective of the fitness status of Franklin and Menzel.

© AAP 2019