Swans give Franklin pre-finals freshen up

The countdown to Lance Franklin’s 1000th will be put on hold for a week with Sydney to rest the superstar forward for the game against North Melbourne.

As late as last week, it had appeared Franklin could play through to the finals but the uncertainty over whether the pre-finals bye will take place has prompted the Swans to give the veteran a freshen up in the penultimate round of the home-and-away season.

The rest is a blow to Franklin’s chances of joining the exclusive 1000-club this year. Based on his career average of 3.12 goals a game, Franklin, on 986 goals, would need the Swans to advance to the grand final to kick the 14 needed to reach the magical milestone.

Though the Swans had warned that Franklin would not play every week he had not missed a game since returning from a knee injury in round eight. This game is effectively a dead rubber for the Swans, who are two games and six per cent adrift of fourth and cannot finish any lower than their current sixth position.

“He’s played 13 games in a row, including seven since the bye, so it’s time to make sure he’s rested up,” Longmire said.

The Swans were dealt another blow with two-time club champion Jake Lloyd ruled out with knee soreness, ending a run of 88 consecutive games, while first-round pick Dylan Stephens was dropped.

Lance Franklin is being rested from Sydney’s clash with North Melbourne.Credit:Getty

Young gun Braeden Campbell returns from injury while forward Hayden McLean and defender Lewis Melican have been given the chance to audition for a finals berth.

Callum Mills will miss another week with Achilles tendonitis but the Swans are optimistic he will be back before the finals.

After eight changes last week, Greater Western Sydney welcome back the cavalry with six ins for their mini-final against Richmond, including gun midfielders Josh Kelly and Jacob Hopper, and ruckman Shane Mumford.

But there was no room for former captain Phil Davis, who could not force his way back into the Giants’ defence after the club’s shock win in Geelong last week.

The Giants were unsuccessful in their bid to overturn a one-game suspension for star forward Toby Greene.

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