Aussie Rules

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Swans sweat on Buddy and Kennedy

Sydney have adopted a wait and see attitude on the fitness of star AFL veterans Lance Franklin and Josh Kennedy, as their otherwise young side head into a testing three-week block of games against AFL heavyweights.

Speedster Zak Jones will miss up to three games with the hamstring issue which forced him off the ground in last Saturday's win over North Melbourne, while co-captain and fellow midfielder Kennedy was a late scratching from that match with a quadriceps issue.

Forward Franklin has missed four games with a hamstring injury.

Coach John Longmire said Kennedy was feeling good and Franklin ran well on Saturday and Monday, but a decision on whether both play Collingwood on Friday would be made after training on Wednesday.

He suggested Franklin had got close to being selected in earlier weeks, but Sydney hadn't taken risks with their talismanic 32-year-old 295 game star.

"The closer we got sometimes you've got to be make sure you don't push him too hard, so you just need to pull back a little bit which we did," Longmire said.

"It's a big occasion this week, so he'd love to play there;s no question about that.'

"We've got to make sure her goes through the right steps and gets to the point where he's really confident in his body."'

Sydney have scored successive gritty 77-72 wins over Essendon and North Melbourne to climb from last to 14th.

Kennedy's withdrawal from last Saturday's game meant Sydney contested that match without any of their six most experienced players, all of who have logged over 200 appearances.

They face the second-placed Pies at the SCG before playing ladder-leaders Geelong the following week ,and then hosting reigning premiers West Coast.

"There's no question it's a period we'll get tested," Longmire said.

"We were thrilled with what our team was able to deliver last week, it goes up a number of notches this week against one of the best teams in the competition.

"A real benchmark team stars on every line, very diverse in how they go about it, a great test for our young team."

Longmire was wary of a Collingwood side which has won the first quarter in every game they've played this season.

"They are the best starting team in the competition, so from the first bounce it's going to be on," he said.

--End of article--

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