Kennedy’s season in doubt as Swans face critical fortnight

The Sydney Swans’ hopes of remaining in touch with the top four have suffered a major blow with veteran midfielder Josh Kennedy ruled out for at least two months with a hamstring injury.

Kennedy was substituted out of his team’s 15-point loss to Carlton on Friday night after cannoning into the Blues’ Sam Docherty late in the first half, a collision which also left him facing a one-match ban.

Coach John Longmire confirmed the 34-year-old would miss eight to ten weeks with tendon damage to his right hamstring, putting him in doubt for the rest of the home and away season.

“He’s disappointed, but he’s also very pragmatic,” Longmire said on Monday. “He’s had a wonderful run as far as injuries and Josh … being the type of person, tends to focus on that.

“This is a bad injury at a bad time for him, but there’s never a good time, and what I do know is Josh will commit himself to the rehab and get himself as good as he can.”

Ball-winner James Rowbottom will return from suspension to bolster the midfield when the seventh-placed Swans take on eighth-placed Richmond at the SCG on Friday night.

The youthful Swans are equal-third for quarters won in 2022 but have lost three of their past four games and were blown away in the second term against Carlton.

“We’ve given parts of the game up to the opposition and it has proved costly for us,” he said. “On the weekend it was clearly our second quarter that was really costly – we had nine goals kicked against us.”

With crucial games against the in-form Tigers and premiers Melbourne in the next fortnight, Longmire said his side wasn’t focusing on the battle for top four.

“Our consideration is addressing the lapses in the games and looking to Richmond this week,” he said. “It’s a very familiar style of footy they play, they’re very hard at it and play a real surge brand of football.

“They’ve got [Jack] Riewoldt and a really good group up front and really sound defensive system, so they’re obviously one of the form teams – if not the form team – in the competition over the last four weeks.”

The Tigers have won their last four games, albeit all against bottom eight sides, but will be without key position players Noah Balta and Tom Lynch, the latter injuring his hamstring in last week’s 32-point win over Essendon which also saw Kane Lambert subbed out with a hip injury.

“I’m not sure what they’ll do with their team, who they’ll bring in for him [Lynch],” he said. “It’ll be about making sure that our back or seven can cover whoever’s there … there’s still a couple of handy [players] running around that forward half. We’re aware of what their strengths are going to be.”

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