Lance Franklin almost missed Sydney’s derby win over GWS with injury

AFL: Listen in to the Sydney Swans post game press
conference

Lance Franklin produced a masterclass against the
Giants on Saturday night. Picture. Phil Hillyard

REVELATIONS have emerged that Lance Franklin’s
premiership-shaping performance against GWS was almost
grounded by injury.

Franklin had been close to being ruled out of Sydney’s momentous victory over GWS last
Saturday night
, only for him to rise from the canvas and
deliver the epic four-goal knockout that has reshaped the
entire landscape for the AFL finals.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Franklin damaged his
knee at the Swans’ main Thursday training session last week and
it’s understood there was initial advice from medical staff to
keep him on ice for the derby.

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However, in a sign that Franklin is as tough as he is
brilliant, the influential forward convinced coach John
Longmire to give him until match day to prove his fitness.

It’s difficult to imagine how the Swans could have overcome the
Giants and kept their premiership fire burning without
Franklin’s immense presence upfront, but behind the scenes the
champion goal scorer put his hand up to battle through the pain
and now the path to history has been set.

Lance Franklin celebrates a goal against the GWS Giants at Spotless Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Lance Franklin celebrates a
goal against the GWS Giants at Spotless Stadium on
Saturday. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Source:News Corp Australia

Longmire didn’t disclose the Franklin drama post-match but he
was eager to point out that his biggest star is more than the
mega sum of his left boot.

“He is skilful but probably what gets undersold a little bit is
how much of a competitor he is. He’s a massive competitor,”
said Longmire.

“He kicked some important goals, there’s no doubt about that.
But some of his contests in outnumbered situations — where he
was outnumbered in the air, flew really hard and brought the
ball to ground (were immense). We saw that shine as the game
wore on.”

It’s understood Franklin collided with a teammate at training
which resulted in his knee pulling up sore.

Swans head of football Tom Harley played down the drama, but
said Franklin had once again showcased his incredible
durability.

“He’s played a lot of footy now, over 250 games and he very
rarely misses,” Harley said.

Franklin reaches for a mark in front of Giants defender Phil Davis. Picture: Getty Images

Franklin reaches for a mark in
front of Giants defender Phil Davis. Picture: Getty
Images
Source:Getty Images

“He’s clearly got great physical resilience, he has a great
mental resilience and … the bigger the stakes the more
competitive he gets. Clearly he played with a really strong
presence on Saturday night which was key for us and enabled us
to put a winning score on the board.

“He had a bit of a down-loaded week last week but was obviously
right to play. There was no doubt in regards to (him playing),
and he’s recovered well so he’ll be right to go again.”

Concerns over the tightness Sam Reid picked up in his groin has
been alleviated, with the in-form star set to take on St Kilda
on Saturday.

There are no hamstring worries for Gary Rohan despite pulling
up gingerly at one point, and Kurt Tippett is also in the frame
to play this week despite a minor groin issue in the NEAFL.

“We’ve got the seven day break so we’ll just work (Reid)
through the early part of the week,” Harley said.

Originally published as
Buddy almost missed Sydney’s derby win

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