It was revealed on Monday that Franklin's match winning performance for the Swans against the Giants almost never happened, having sustained a knee injury in Thursday's main training session.
The superstar booted four goals and collected 18 disposals, 8 marks, had 10 score involvements and 607 metres gained, in a best aground display that saw him take back the lead in the coleman medal race.
However, the forward put in a super human effort to prove his fitness, having been close to being ruled out through a knee injury, a performance which has shaped the landscape of the finals.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Franklin damaged his knee at the teams' main training session on Thursday and its understood that there was initial medical advice that he should be withdrawn from the game.
It's difficult to imagine the Swans overcoming the Giants with their best player on the sidelines, given his influence over the course of the match, his immense pressure and inside 50 ball movement, but behind the scenes, the champion put his hand up to play through pain, and the rest is history.
Longmire didn't disclose the injury in his post-match press conference, but was more than happy to point out that he's worth far more than the money he earns.
“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.”
Head of Swans Football Tom Harley played down the injury, pointing out the fact that he's played over 250 games of football and has hardly missed since his debut 12 seasons ago.
“He’s played a lot of footy now, over 250 games and he very rarely misses,” Harley said.
“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.”
It's hard to imagine the Swans winning some of the games they have without Franklin, who was influential in the comeback against Essendon, put on a masterful display against the Demons, booted 8 (the difference) against the Lions and now leads the coleman medal race.
He was even judged best afield in a losing effort to Hawthorn, while he single handedly kept the Swans in the game with one of his finest performances over a long career.
That $10 million contract over 9 years is going to look like the steal of the century when all is said and done, it's fair to say he's played at twice his value, and then some.
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