THE SYDNEY Swans' $10 million-man Lance Franklin gave his club a big scare during Saturday night's 31-point win over Melbourne at the MCG when he tweaked his right knee for the second time in three weeks.
But the prized recruit seems to have escaped serious injury for the second time this week with the Swans expecting him to recover for next week's clash with the Brisbane Lions.
Three days after Franklin's traffic prang in Sydney that left four parked cars damaged, his tumultuous start to life as a Swan took another turn when he landed awkwardly in a marking contest.
The Swans went on to win 9.15 (69) to 5.8 (38) after breaking open a tight first-half tussle but will now wait to see if Franklin's knee - which saw him subbed out in the third quarter – recovers as expected.
The injury is to the same knee he hurt in the 2011 qualifying final against Geelong but coach John Longmire said it is unrelated.
He said they had expected the match to play out in the pressured, low-scoring style it did and was happy to take the win despite the unattractive way it evolved.
"It was a bit of a battle but I'd rather win like that than lose in a pretty contest," Longmire said.
"It was a challenging game. Melbourne put a fair bit of pressure on; they're obviously working pretty hard on that part of the game, which you'd understand under 'Roosey'.
"You're not going to get a lot of clean ball and we knew that.
"We can still play better than what we did tonight and we'll need to but it was good to get the two wins in a row."
Lewis Jetta was also treated for a corked right calf but is expected to recover this week.
While Jetta played out the game, it was Franklin's substitution that opened the door for the return of dual premiership veteran Adam Goodes.
Going into the game, all eyes were on Goodes – who joined Chris Judd and Luke Ball as unexpected players to start in the green vest this season – after 10 months spent mending a knee injury.
He nearly kicked a goal within seconds of coming on after gathering the ball outside 50 and spying an empty goal square.
Goodes ended with five touches and four inside 50s, providing some positivity along with the hard-fought result.
Franklin had been quiet before his injury with just one goal but things were tough for forwards in the first half.
After the Swans kicked four goals to one in the first term – all from turnovers – the Demons stymied the Swans' supply into attack, which also starved Lewis Roberts-Thomson of the ball.
The Swans failed to kick a major in the quarter with both teams managing just five scoring shots between them.
However, the Swans' pressure was constant and their tackle rate was lifting but the Demons absorbed it much better than they have in recent years.
Chris Dawes was the sole goal-kicker for the term, which saw the Swans take a 17-point lead into the second half.
Melbourne's first-round draft selection Christian Salem made his debut after coming on as the sub in the third quarter and kicked a well-received goal in his limited minutes.
Dan Hannebery led the Swans' midfield, which lifted in last week's win over Fremantle, with a huge 13 clearances, and Josh Kennedy and Rhyce Shaw were also significant.
It wasn't a pretty win but the Swans did what they came to do.
Meanwhile, the Demons again brought increased effort and a win in the tackle stakes, 71-64, but the fact remained they just couldn't stick with the experienced Swans despite the untidy nature of the game.
"I think it was a significant step forward, but by the same token it is frustrating because we drop off in periods of games," Roos said.
"But they're a high quality side and they've got some terrific players who've done what they've done for years and years."
MELBOURNE 1.2 2.3 4.4 5.8 (38)
SYDNEY SWANS 4.5 4.8 7.12 9.15 (69)
Melbourne: Byrnes, Dawes, Tyson, M. Jones, Salem
Sydney Swans: Jack 2, Parker, Franklin, Hannebery, Cunningham, Kennedy, McGlynn, Derickx
Melbourne: M. Jones, N. Jones, Vince, Dunn, Terlich, McDonald
Sydney Swans: Hannebery, Kennedy, Parker, Jack, Shaw, Rampe
Sydney Swans: Franklin (knee), Jetta (calf),
Melbourne: Christian Salem replaced Neville Jetta in the third quarter
Sydney Swans: Adam Goodes replaced Lance Franklin (right knee) in the third quarter
Umpires: Margetts, Ryan, Mitchell
Official crowd: 24,855 at the MCG