Swans won’t take risks with isolated stars in finals race
There are concerns Toby Greene and Callum Mills may miss another game due to an inability to properly train while in isolation.
The pair, along with the other six Swans and Giants forced into isolation, are limited to exercising on gym equipment and will not be able to take part in full training with their teammates until they are released next week. This would leave players just the one training session before a possible return in round 20.
Swans and Giants players have been put in spa suite rooms at the Royal Pines on the Gold Coast so they can fit more equipment in for training. Rooms also have balcony access so players can get fresh air and direct sunlight.
Both clubs can ill afford to lose their isolated stars for another game. Shooting for a top-four berth, the Swans face Fremantle this week before taking on Essendon, while the Giants, part of a group chasing seventh and eighth, play the Bombers in a game slated for Sunday then Port Adelaide.
Swans coach John Longmire could not guarantee Mills, Harry Cunningham, Colin O’Riordan and Callum Sinclair would be ready to play the week after leaving isolation.
“It’s hard to predict at the moment. It’s very hard to look into the future and read what happens when they get out,” Longmire said.
Sydney’s Callum Mills and Giants forward Toby Greene are among eight players from both clubs in isolation.Credit:Getty Images
“They need to keep their strength programs going, even though they’re in their rooms. We’re still confident that when they get out they’ll have enough preparation for that next game. But once again we won’t put them at risk, we’ll see how the week goes.”
The Swans’ predicament is exacerbated by their strength and conditioning team also being confined to their rooms.
The club was on Tuesday working to organise a reserves game to facilitate the impending senior returns from injury of Sam Reid, Braeden Campbell and Chad Warner. Logan McDonald is also another out of the team looking to press for a recall.
The COVID developments have implications for the Giants’ ruck stocks, with Matt Flynn to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
Shane Mumford is nursing an injury while young ruckman Kieren Briggs is one of the four Giants in isolation, along with Greene, Matt de Boer and Jake Stein.
Small forward Bobby Hill returned home to Sydney on Monday to be with his pregnant partner. The Giants are hopeful he can return to Queensland once the AFL finalises the transition hub for families and partners to be reunited with players and staff.
“Bobby returned home to Sydney with our full support,” Giants football boss Jason McCartney said.
“As we know, the two Sydney clubs have faced plenty of challenges over the past few weeks and we appreciate the sacrifices our players and staff have made.
“Family comes first so Bobby will return home now with our full support and if the option becomes available for him to re-join the group then we’ll welcome him back as soon as we can.”
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