Daniel Menzel will have to bide his time to make his Sydney debut due to injury. Picture. Phil Hillyard.
Daniel Menzel will have to bide his time to make his Sydney debut due to injury. Picture. Phil Hillyard.

Swans recruit suffers injury blow

Sydney's sluggish start to the season has been dealt another major blow with star recruit Daniel Menzel re-injuring his groin at training.

Menzel looked like he was primed for a round two comeback from off-season groin surgery before re-tweaking it with his final kick at a session late last week.

The Swans are desperately hoping Menzel and Lance Franklin can form a powerful combination in the forward line this year, but Sydney will now have to wait up to another month before the two scoring weapons combine.

Recruited from Geelong in the off-season, the experienced Menzel has been tipped to add significant muscle and football nous to the Swans, but coach John Longmire hinted yesterday the 27-year-old might have to make a slow return through the second's team given his injury-hampered pre-season.

Menzel was brought in to reduce the reliance of Franklin inside 50, but after being belted in most areas against the Western Bulldogs in round one, Sydney will instead have to dig-deep with what they have against Adelaide on Friday night at the SCG.

 

"We knew that when they had their operations last year that if we got them back in the first month of the season, that'd be a real bonus," said Longmire.

"We thought 'Menz' was on track to be playing week five even though he had the operation late, so he was ahead of schedule before his tweak last week, and Lance is definitely ahead of where we thought he'd be.

"We can't afford to have too many in that boat of coming in after doing limited amounts of training, so that's something we'll discuss with Dan when he's closer to playing."

Longmire is hopeful that an underdone Franklin will be able to take some part in his main training session on Wednesday and aims to up his loads even further next week when the Swans will have a longer eight-day break before playing round three.

Franklin played just over 90 minutes in the crushing loss to the Bulldogs and looked short of a gallop after his own off-season groin surgery.

Some have questioned whether Franklin's body might be in decline, but Longmire said the 32-year-old superstar is a long way advanced on club expectations and where he was in 2018 where he barely trained.

Daniel Menzel signed for the Swans from Geelong during the off-season. Picture: Phil Hillyard.
Daniel Menzel signed for the Swans from Geelong during the off-season. Picture: Phil Hillyard.

The Swans may look to change-up their forward-line even in Menzel's absence, with speedy small man Ben Ronke pushing to return from a minor knee knock.

However, it looks like Kieren Jack (knee) and Tom McCartin (concussion) won't be rushed back into the AFL side despite both performing strongly in the twos' last weekend.

Longmire said he was more concerned about his team's attitude around the ball than about personnel.

"We were well beaten in the midfield and between the arcs we were really poor, at both winning the ball and in transition," he said.

"We just didn't use the ball well and weren't able to win those scrambles for the ball.

"The main element was getting our hands on the footy and everything flows off that, your ball movement gets better and it doesn't give you opportunities going forward when you're getting beaten so badly in ground balls.

"It also puts more pressure on your defenders, which is what we saw."

News Corp Australia


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