Swans mull AFL recalls for Franklin, Rampe

·2-min read

Sydney are weighing up recalls for Lance Franklin and Dane Rampe as they seek to topple AFL ladder-leaders Melbourne on Saturday night.

Franklin was expected to spend three to four weeks on the sidelines because of bone bruising in his knee.

But the four-time Coleman Medal winner is ahead of schedule in his recovery - missing only two games - and is making a compelling case for selection.

Rampe, who underwent surgery to repair a broken finger in early April, is also in the mix to return after sitting out three matches.

It means the Swans, who have claimed the scalps of both Geelong and Richmond in a promising start to 2021, may recall their best forward and best defender for the MCG clash with the undefeated Demons.

"There's no certainty for either of them, they've still got to finish training this week," Sydney coach John Longmire told reporters on Monday.

"But they've had a good progression so far.

"Dane is a real chance. He's done a fair bit of training with us actually ... he trained really hard again on Saturday.

"Lance trained last Friday and pulled up really well, trained hard again today. So we'll see how he is."

The Swans' medicos may yet give Franklin another week on the sidelines to ensure he is ready for the rigours of AFL, meaning the superstar would return at home against Collingwood as he strives towards the 1000-goal mark.

But Longmire noted the 34-year-old, whose past two seasons have been ruined by multiple soft-tissue injuries, has been able to maintain a solid fitness base during recent weeks.

"He's certainly got a lot of work behind him. He was able to continue his weights and strength work, even when he wasn't able to run because of the knee," Longmire said.

"It was a lot shorter period that he wasn't able to run, compared to what we predicted.

"We'll sit down this week and go through it in great detail again, work out whether he needs to play this week or not."

The Swans will be particularly keen for co-captain Rampe to bolster their back line, especially given hamstrung defender Lewis Melican will be an enforced omission.

"He (Rampe) feels good ... he's quite capable of putting things aside and getting on with the job," Longmire said.

George Hewett is expected to be available, having suffered a concussion in Sydney's shock round-six loss to Gold Coast, but his hopes of a recall may hinge on Rampe's fitness.

Not one rival captain tipped the Swans to reach the finals this year, underlining how low expectations were outside the club.

Longmire is pleased to be in the top four, but added his charges will "need to play at our very best all over the ground" if they hope to inflict Melbourne's first loss of 2021.