The Sydney Swans have announced Buddy Franklin will be unavailable for Friday's match against Collingwood as he continues to battle a back strain.
The Swans play the Magpies for the first time at the famous ground since 2000, the 15-year absence due to the club's deal with the Sydney Olympic stadium. Franklin missed last weekend's 32-point loss to Geelong due to a back injury and was not present at Swans' training on Wednesday. Franklin kicked three goals in the Swans' win at the SCG two weeks ago but struggled with a sore back during the match, the injury preventing him from playing against West Coast in Perth a week earlier. Sydney's general manager of football, Tom Harley, told SwansTV Franklin was very keen to get back on the field but was ruled out after the side went through its paces on Wednesday. "If there's one thing I know about Lance is that he's a competitor," Harley said. "We were hopeful that Lance would get up this week but he has not been able to get over the appropriate hurdles so he will have another week on the sidelines." Swans officials are hoping for a big crowd at the SCG in what is a crunch game for the fifth-placed hosts, who were replaced in the top four by the Western Bulldogs after the loss to the Cats. Collingwood sits in 11th place, six points outside the top eight, and come into the match after defeating Carlton by 18 points, recording their first win in seven matches. Hannebery is expecting a tough game. "Their win-loss record probably doesn't reflect the footy they've played," he said. "I think they've only just come up short against Freo and the Hawks and have played some really good footy throughout the year. "We know what we are up against and obviously their midfield is a super-star midfield and it's going to be an extremely tough test."