Sydney's stuttering season, riddled with injuries and poor performances, appears to have hit another road block, with veteran defender Nick Smith effectively ruled out for the season.
Smith's already frustrating season is now in doubt, before it has even begun, after he was forced to have a second operation on his injured hamstring tendon.
The 30-year-old first injured his hamstring tendon against Melbourne in Round 21 last year, and while the Swans were hopeful the injury would heal itself, he's eventually had surgery to fix the issue.
Smith had been building up fitness over the pre-season and was back to running, but the defender hasn't been able to push himself any further since.
Sydney Swans' Head of Football Charlie Gardiner told sydneyswans.com.au that the Swans' medical staff sent Smith for another operation to help fast-track his recovery.
"Nick worked hard to get his injury right over summer and earlier this year but unfortunately hasn't been able to get back to full training," he said.
"A decision was made earlier this week to undergo some more surgery on that hamstring to try and relieve some of the scar tissue around that hamstring.
"Hopefully that surgery will put his issues behind him and we can see him back on the park soon."
Smith's injury robs the already beleaguered Swans defence of vital experience that it needs.
The news is equally worrying for midfielder Harry Cunningham, who Sydney's senior coach John Longmire described in his post-match press conference as Sydney's most consistent player.
Cunningham immediately grabbed at his groin as he made contact with the ball on the weekend, in an incident eerily similar to former captain Jarrad McVeigh.
Coach John Longmire gave a fairly grim assessment of the 25-year-old's injury following the match.
"It looks like a bad one unfortunately," Longmire said post-match.
"He's been one of our most consistent, if not our most consistent, player so far this year, so it's unfortunate to lose him, he's been terrific for us."
"We'll see how the scans are, but it's not good at the moment."
While early diagnosis ruled the 25-year-old out for 4-6 weeks, Head of Football Charlie Gardiner later confirmed that he is expected to miss up to 8 weeks of football.
Tom Papley is another player under an injury cloud, having copped a heavy blow to his ribs on the weekend, in a marking contest against ruckman Oscar McInerney.
The 22-year-old now faces a race against the clock to prove his fitness for the upcoming clash against Essendon on Friday night.
“Tom has pulled up as little bit sore, copped a heavy knock to his chest and ribs. We’re hopeful he’ll train and get up for the game,” said Swans head of football Charlie Gardiner.
The news is more positive for superstar forward Lance Franklin, who has missed the last two games with a 'minor' hamstring strain.
A late exclusion for the GWS Giants game in Round 6, Franklin has been able to train and push his chance for selection over the weekend.
Having trained on Friday, Sunday and Monday, Franklin is a chance to be selected if he makes it through today's session unscathed.
“He will train, and we will just have to see how he pulls up from training, and then we will make a call whether he plays later in the week,” Gardiner said.
Daniel Menzel will continue to build his fitness this week when he makes his competitive return after undergoing groin surgery in December last year.
The 27-year-old will play his first competitive senior game for the Sydney Swans when he runs out for the club in their NEAFL clash against Sydney University at Henson Park.
|Jarrad McVeigh||Quad||4-6 Weeks|
|Harry Cunningham||Adductor||6-8 Weeks|
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