Lewis Jetta: set to make his comeback this week. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Lewis Jetta is set to make his comeback this week as Sydney pick up the pieces of their premiership defence after a horror weekend.
The reigning premiers emerged the major losers from a weekend when their rivals either clicked up another gear, as in Geelong and Fremantle, or, in Hawthorn's case, continued their winning ways.
Rhyce Shaw's season-ending knee swelled an already crowded casualty ward but there could be some respite for the club after Jetta, Sam Reid and Lewis Roberts-Thomson upped the ante in their last-ditch bid to be fit for the finals. The three trained strongly with the reserves but still face a tough task returning to the seniors before the finals.
Adam Goodes was given the weekend off but the club hopes he can run on Monday.
Jetta, recovering from shin bruising, is considered the most advanced of the four and is likely to come back via the seconds this week. A shock return to face Hawthorn on Friday night has not been ruled out. ''He's missed 12 weeks, so we've got to be a bit careful,'' coach John Longmire said.
A decision on whether Reid and Roberts-Thomson play this week in the seconds will not be made until after Wednesday's main training session. Reid is recovering from a recurring quadriceps strain and has played only one game in three months. Roberts-Thomson hurt his knee in round four.
''They trained and got through really well, which is a good sign,'' Longmire said. ''Sam Reid … we've got to make a decision on whether he gets through training this week and, if he does, whether we play him or not.
''Lewy's probably in the same boat as Sam. He's come good quicker over the past two weeks. Two weeks ago we didn't think he was much good at all.''
The clash with Hawthorn had been shaping up as a blockbuster but it is now effectively a dead rubber because it will have little impact on the final ladder positions. The strong likelihood now is the Swans will face the Hawks two weeks in a row.
The Hawks secured first place and the minor premiership with their win against North Melbourne while the Swans, after losing heavily to the Cats, must win and rely on lowly St Kilda to shock Fremantle to have any hope of climbing back into third.
Despite the lowered significance of the final round, Longmire said it would not influence the club's treatment of their injured stars.
''I'd be surprised if we were to rush anyone into the senior team,'' he said.
Scans are expected to confirm Shaw has torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
The early prognosis on Dan Hannebery and Nick Smith's knee injuries appears brighter.
The pair played on after injury scares and Longmire said neither would have scans.