With post season news that Sam Naismith has undergone a shoulder reconstruction and Lance Franklin had arthroscopic surgery on one of his shoulders, it’s clear that the Swans had MacGyver keeping the players together with gum and duct tape.If there’s anything the Swans team can do, he can do better.
Going into the finals with a stable and mostly health squad, the Swans looked red hot and favourites to take it all. However, with a minimum of 2 injuries per game, that quickly fell away. A tune-up to GWS after Kennedy was knocked senseless, Tippett had his jaw fractured and Mills tore his hamstring, preceded good wins against Adelaide and Geelong, with their own injury problems.
Just to make the wins more dramatic, McVeigh and Rohan went down in the 2nd quarter against Adelaide and both didn’t return, although McVeigh tried to work through his old man calves. Kennedy clearly had a penchant for pain and desire to be laying down for the most important week, tweaked his knee along with Parker against the Cats, and Aliir Aliir tragically went down with a medial in the first.
Franklin did his ankle in the first minutes of the grand final and when the game was in the balance, Hannebery had his legs taken out and did a medial, forcing him off the ground for the remainder of the game. Hannebery’s injury was critical for the Swans, at a time when the game was still in the balance, they lost their best outside mid. Franklin injury was clearly impacting his movement around the ground, but he still worked through it.
I don’t recall any 4 game stretch as a Swans supporter where we’ve only had 2 fit players on the bench. Parker was limping around the entire grand final, Hanners was out, Franklin was off for a fair chunk of the first half and the midfield struggled.
The injury list in the finals (11)
Sam Naismith (hand, shoulder)
Lance Franklin (shoulder, ankle)
Kurt Tippet (concussion, jaw)
Josh Kennedy (concussion, knee)
Callum Mills (hamstring)
Jarrad McVeigh (calf)
Gary Rohan (knee brusing)
Aliir Aliir (medial)
Luke Parker (knee)
Daniel Hannebery (knee)
That’s on top of Sam Reid, Michael Talia and Callum Sinclair.
It’s clear that the Swans’ gamble on semi-fit players didn’t pan out. Here’s to hoping that the Swans get James Woods in to perform an exorcism, because there’s just too many demons in that medical room.