Sydney Swans expect Kurt Tippett back

Sydney are confident Lance Franklin will be reunited with his partner in crime, Kurt Tippett, on Saturday as the Swans seek revenge for their round-one humiliation against Greater Western Sydney, but the club has lost premiership defender Rhyce Shaw for three weeks.

Tippett has missed the past two weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery but Swans coach John Longmire is expecting the star forward to be available to face the Giants.

Tippett ran last Friday and pulled up well after completing agility running on Sunday, though he must train strongly on Tuesday to be selected in the final 22.

"At this stage, we're confident that he'll play," Longmire said.

Although the Swans have stretched their winning streak from seven to nine in Tippett's absence, his return will reduce the pressure on Franklin to make match-winning contributions as he has done the past fortnight against Port Adelaide and Richmond.

"He's been able to, in the last couple of weeks, kick some important goals at some crunch times – that's what makes him such a good player," Longmire said.

"[Alex] Rance played quite well on him but you've got to be a pretty good player to keep him out of the game the whole time. He was able to kick some crunch goals and made a big difference to the result at the end of the day.

"To be able to go back, clear his mind and kick those important goals at critical times is a great trait to have."

Ben McGlynn, who is recovering from a broken thumb, is also given a chance to return, though his fate will be decided after training on Thursday.

"He's been doing all the running, it's just whether he can handle the ball," Longmire said.

"His thumb's feeling pretty good at the moment, all the swelling's gone down and he has some movement in it. That's a good sign but we won't know until Thursday."

But the Swans will be without Shaw because of an ankle syndesmosis injury, though the club says it is not as serious as that suffered by Dan Hannebery, who was still on crutches on Monday.

Shaw, 32, had been fearing a lengthier stint on the sidelines after hearing a sound as he came to grief on Friday night, but scans cleared him of more serious damage.

"To be able to speak to him yesterday, when he got the results of the scan, and understand it'd only be two or three weeks out, he was pretty relieved," Longmire said. "It's a good thing, even though he'll be out for a couple of weeks."

Shaw's injury will force a reshuffle to the Swans' back six, which has been one of the most miserly defensive units this season.

Shaw, who had been enjoying one of his best seasons, is averaging over 22 possessions a game this year and, along with Nick Malceski, kick-started many counter-attacks for the Swans.

Although Jarrad McVeigh won All-Australian selection last year playing across halfback, Longmire said Gary Rohan was in contention to play Shaw's rebounding role as he wanted to keep his captain in a midfield-forward role.

Three weeks ago, the Sydney derby loomed as a cakewalk for the Swans but the Giants, with wins against Brisbane and Carlton after honourable losses to Hawthorn and Essendon, have since lifted markedly to give hope to their supporters they can repeat their stunning upset of round one.

"If you don't give your best and the opposition give their best, you're a chance to lose no matter where the ladder positions are and that's no different this week," Longmire said. "That's why we need to give our best.

"They're a good side and they're running at full strength now. Their structure looks pretty good. Jed Lamb played 11 games for us last year and he played against our reserves on the weekend. That gives you an idea how well they're going.

"You're always mindful when you play against talent that works hard."

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