Sydney coach John Longmire has confirmed that star forward Lance Franklin suffered a minor calf setback last week.
Franklin has only played 10 games since the end of 2018 and missed the entire 2020 season as the 34-year-old deals with ongoing issues with his groins, hamstrings and other lower body injuries.
Longmire revealed Franklin’s timeline has been pushed back a week because of the calf soreness.
“Up until Christmas we were working on his strength. He was doing some really good work and has been doing some work in the last couple of weeks, not with the main group, just doing some rehab training, but he’s been going along really well doing a fair bit of ball work,” Longmire told SEN Breakfast.
“Last week his calf tightened up a little bit about halfway through the session which is to be expected that little bumps will pop up every now and then.
“That was only Friday and has probably put him back a week and he’ll get going next week.”
Longmire said the problem areas for Franklin remain in his lower body, but they’ve put a lot of work into getting him right.
“It’s mainly through his groin area and hamstrings and just making sure his adductors and all the core elements through his body are all nice and strong,” he said.
“That’s the biggest concern, so that’s the area we’ve been working on since halfway through last year when we found out he couldn’t play and that’s what he’s been doing all his work on and he’s been going really well.
“He’s gone through throughout the off-season and right throughout Christmas and has done a power of work and gotten himself really strong through that area of his body.
“That’s the main thing, as long as we continue to go forward in that area.”
When asked whether we’d see Franklin at AFL level in 2021, Longmire said they’re taking it day by day.
“I don’t look to that, I just look at what he’s doing on a weekly basis. That’s the main thing we can control. We don’t sit back and say what the longer term future looks like for him, we just want to make sure day by day he’s tracking the right way which he has been.”
After the interview, Garry Lyon stated he has “no confidence” that we will see Franklin any time soon.
“On the back of that, I’ve got no confidence that he’ll be playing early in the season,” Lyon said.
“They’d be planning for him. We’re a long way away, but from what I just heard then, for a player who hasn’t played footy for the best part of two years, it’s February 1st and he’s still in the rehab group and still getting some soreness.
“I desperately want to see him play, but I’m not that confident.”