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Sydney ruck Hickey set for AFL return

3 minute read

Sydney coach John Longmire says ruckman Tom Hickey has recovered from a toe injury and is in the selection frame for Saturday's AFL game against Port Adelaide.

Swans coach JOHN LONGMIRE looks on during the Sydney Swans AFL pre-season training session at Lakeside Oval in Sydney, Australia.
Swans coach JOHN LONGMIRE looks on during the Sydney Swans AFL pre-season training session at Lakeside Oval in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Sydney's Tom Hickey and Harry Cunningham are set to return from injury as coach John Longmire refuses to buy into his club's AFL top-four prospects.

Ruckman Hickey has been sidelined by a toe injury since round 10 and Cunningham hasn't played since round seven because of an abdominal tear.

Longmire expects both to be available but isn't yet sure if they'll earn instant AFL recalls for Sydney's away game against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Hickey is the more likely to return but Longmire wants to monitor how his first-choice ruck recovers from Thursday training before making a selection call.

"We are just making sure with Tom in particular that he gets some good training under his belt, that is the number one aspect for us," Longmire told reporters on Tuesday.

"How his toe pulls up is really important and then we will make a decision, does he need another week's training, does he play this week if it's reserves or seniors.

"We will work that out but we're very conscious that he has missed a fair bit of training this year and games with his knee and his toe."

Longmire said Hickey's fellow ruckman Peter Ladhams would play against his former side Port while star forward Lance Franklin returns from suspension for the Adelaide Oval fixture.

But Longmire was disinterested in his side's prospects of climbing into the top four.

The Swans, after impressive wins against Richmond and Melbourne before their bye last weekend, are seventh but just one win shy of fourth-placed Carlton.

"Coaches from all clubs probably don't think about it too much, and players, because you get so process driven," he said.

"It's something that takes up a bit of air-time outside of footy clubs.

"But inside it doesn't take up a lot of time, if any, because it's just not relevant to what is happening right now."

Port sit in 12th spot, three wins from the top-eight, but Longmire noted the Power have the league's best defensive record since round six.

"Their defensive actions at the moment are outstanding, very hard to score against," he said.

"And they have got a midfield and a forward set-up that can really hit the scoreboard.

"So their best footy is as good as anyone going around, it has been for a number of years."

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