Adam Goodes of the Swans grimaces after tearing a muscle in his hip on Saturday. Photo: Mark Kolbe
It's often been said no one man can replace Adam Goodes, and Swans coach John Longmire will look to use five or six players to fill the hole left by his injured dual-Brownlow Medal winner.
Scans revealed yesterday Goodes had suffered a tear, high on his quadricep, having hobbled from the field in the opening minutes of the final quarter of Sydney's loss to Adelaide at the SCG on Saturday.
''He will probably be out for about six weeks. It's hard to predict. It may be longer, it may be shorter,'' Longmire said.
''Goodesy normally recovers really well, but with this injury we have to be careful not to push him too hard.
''We'll be making sure he's absolutely right before we push him too hard.
''We know how important Adam Goodes is for us, so we won't be putting him at risk any more than what we need to.''
Longmire said he hoped that both Goodes - and injured ruckman Shane Mumford, who is said to be still at least three or four weeks away - would be ready to return after the Swans mid-year bye in round 11. That being the case Goodes would miss five games - against Richmond, Melbourne, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, and Essendon.
''We've got a few and we'll sit down and work through all the possible replacements,'' Longmire said.
''We were able to kick 17 goals a couple of weeks ago [against North Melbourne] with almost the same team without Adam [who was suspended]. It will largely depend on week to week.''
Asked if perhaps there could be a different replacement for Goodes each week depending on who they were playing and what sort of player was required, Longmire said it was a possibility.
''When you look at it, it depends upon what you need for that week … So what we need this week against Richmond might be different to what we need the next week.''
''We'll get through to the bye, and we'll see what happens about that time, and see how he's feeling, and how he's training.''
Goodes, 32, has been one of the most durable players in the AFL, missing only seven games during his 305-match career, which began in round one of the 1999 AFL season.
He missed three matches in 1999 when he broke a bone in his arm - the only time he has missed multiple games - and then went on a game-streak of 204 in succession, before missing the round 14 clash with Collingwood in 2008, when he was suspended for one match.
He then missed games in round 18 of that season with a groin injury, and was then rested for the round 22 match that same season to give the injury a break before the finals.
Longmire said Goodes was naturally disappointed but was positive and ''fantastic with his rehab and has amazing powers of recuperation.''
''Mumford and Goodes are really important players for us, but in the end we have to cover that.''