Buddy boost: Franklin cleared for Brisbane clash

Buddy boost: Franklin cleared for Brisbane clash

Lance Franklin has been cleared to play for the Swans in Saturday's clash with Brisbane at the Gabba after the AFL's Match Review Panel deemed his accidental elbow which concussed Fremantle defender Joel Hamling not worthy of a charge.

Swans coaching staff were made to sweat until Monday afternoon to hear from the AFL, who confirmed the supserstar forward would be permitted to continue his comeback from a heel injury this weekend.

In the clear: Sydney star Lance Franklin is free to take on Brisbane on Saturday.

In the clear: Sydney star Lance Franklin is free to take on Brisbane on Saturday.

Photo: AAP

Franklin's left elbow collided with Hamling as he and Fremantle teammate Ryan Nyhuis were trying to tackle the rampaging Swan as he gathered a loose ball in the second quarter of Saturday's 59-point drubbing of the Dockers.

"High contact is made to Hamling, as Franklin seeks to break clear, and the Sydney player releases a handball to his teammate under pressure," stated the AFL's weekly MRP assessment.

"It was the view of the match review officer that Franklin was seeking to evade the tackle and his actions while in possession of the ball were not unreasonable in the circumstances."


Franklin missed three-straight matches with a bruised heel before surprising medical and coaching staff alike last week in his return against the Dockers.

He managed three goals in the win, becoming just the second man behind Tony Lockett to kick 300 goals at two different VFL/AFL clubs.

"He played reduced minutes which was a bonus, when you consider he was coming off no training, he trained for 20 odd minutes on Thursday but he's pulled up really well," coach John Longmire said.

"This is an unusual injury. The plan will be to keep him going and keep building up his game time, we've got a few steps to wait until we work that out.

"When he goes out and trains and trains fully and trains flat out and moved as good as he did on Thursday and did what he needed to do, it's a pretty strong argument [for him to play].

"You wouldn't probably do it to every player either, everyone's a bit different. He's shown a capacity to perform really well off very limited training and not everyone's able to do it so that comes into the equation as well."

In more positive news for the Swans, midfielder Zak Jones was cleared of a head injury after he copped a knock in the Dockers match and is expected to face the Lions as fifth-placed Sydney looks to secure a third-straight win for the first time this season.

But Longmire has warned his charges not to take the second-from-bottom Lions lightly following their drought-breaking win over Hawthorn on Sunday.

"They've been in almost every game probably except one up until three quarter time," Longmire said. "Two weeks ago up there they kicked 18 goals against Collingwood and were fantastic. The result the Lions got against Hawthorn it's been building for quite a while and probably doesn't surprise anyone.

"They've been playing a good brand of footy, they run hard, they're well balanced in regards to younger players and older players and the win loss record's irrelevant when you're looking at the performances because they've been very very competitive."

Meanwhile, Giants youngster Jacob Hopper can accept a $1000 with an early guilty plea after being charged with making careless contact with an umpire in Saturday's loss to North Melbourne.

James Buckley writes on AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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