Sydney star small forward Tom Papley was a non-participant at the Swans main training session this morning, casting a doubt over his availability for their clash against the Gold Coast Suns on Saturday.
Papley didn’t participate in any of the training drills or match simulation, seeking treatment to his ankle as his teammates duked it out in the sunny Sydney skies on Thursday.
It would be a bitter blow for the Swans who already have a slowly mounting injury toll with Lance Franklin (knee), Dane Rampe (finger), Tom Hickey (knee), and Isaac Heeney (hand) all out for extended periods.
The Swans say that Papley is fine has been managing his loads after a strong start to the season and insist he will be on to make the trip north to face the Suns.
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Sydney prepares to face a depleted Gold Coast Suns this week, but like the Suns, are facing a bit of a ruck dilemma of their own. Hayden McLean is a likely inclusion to the Swans line-up this week after impressing in last week’s VFL game against the Giants.
Forward Sam Reid pinch-hit in the ruck last week, saying it looks likely he will need to fill that role again. This will be in addition to taking a more senior role in the forward 50 with the absence of Lance Franklin.
“You go through the season expecting to use a lot of your list and we’ve come into this season expecting no different,” Reid said at this morning’s media conference.
“Hayden is one of them [strong performers in the VFL], he’s come in and out a bit and played a really strong role for us. We’re expecting anyone who comes in to come in, play a really specific role, and help us win.
“If Hayden comes in, he’s certainly an option who can pinch hit in the ruck.”
Sydney will be hoping to bounce back from their heartbreaking late loss in the derby last week to the Giants. Reid said the review centred around the whole system and set up of the ground rather than just the players, himself included, that were involved and closest to the stoppage.
“There’s a whole system in place, it’s not about highlighting an individual,” he said.
“We got a couple of things wrong but we will learn from it.”
In positive injury news for the Swans, ruckman Sam Naismith is edging closer to a return to the playing field, partaking in parts of match simulation in his recovery from an ACL injury sustained last season.
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