SYDNEY Swans coach John Longmire has all but given up hope of having co-captain Jarrad McVeigh in his side for the club's round one clash against Collingwood at the SCG.
McVeigh's recovery from off-season knee surgery has taken longer than expected and the frustrated skipper still hasn't returned to full training less than a month before the season opener.
At training on Wednesday morning McVeigh did stationary ball work on the boundary while the Swans' main group participated in full ground match simulation.
Longmire said that McVeigh and fellow veteran Ben McGlynn were both unlikely to face the Magpies, with Sam Reid (hamstring) also in doubt.
"That'll unfold over the next few weeks. It's a bit hard at this point three weeks out to be able to focus on where those guys will be in their program," he said.
"They're all stepping it up, they've all had pretty good build ups, but in Jarrad's case he's unlikely to be around for round one."
Longmire said he wasn't surprised by the fiery reaction from Collingwood CEO Gary Pert or president Eddie McGuire over the round one switch of venues.
The Swans were scheduled to meet the Pies at ANZ Stadium to start the season before a last minute change to the SCG after the club negotiated an early end to its agreement with the Homebush venue.
Pert labeled the Swans "unprofessional and disrespectful" after the ongoing discussions between ANZ Stadium management and the Sydney club were kept confidential until Monday's announcement.
Jarrad McVeigh and Ted Richards take a close look at the whiteboard. Picture: Getty Images
"Obviously Gary Pert's words were very strong, and I as a coach understand there's some challenges, but in the end I hope they're not insurmountable," Longmire said.
"I thought that (Collingwood coach) Nathan Buckley handled it really well, (when he said) in the end it's a great spot to play at the SCG and his team is looking forward to playing there.
"That's what its about, this is an unusual situation I mean I didn't find out (about the change) until I got off a plane (on Monday) and read the press release.
"We're really fortunate and appreciative that we're at the SCG now, and it's great for football, particularly in Sydney and New South Wales.
"We can't be too obsessed with the headlines, it will be a fantastic build up to a fantastic game."
The Swans went through a sharp session at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney's inner west ahead of their second NAB Challenge match at the ground on Friday night against Greater Western Sydney.
Longmire said he'll name a very strong line up, with Lance Franklin certain to play, while co-captain Kieren Jack will return after missing the club's first hit out against Port Adelaide.
Lance Franklin fires out a handball at Swans training on Wednesday. Picture: Getty Images
Franklin dominated the match simulation work playing as a deep forward against young defender Xavier Richards, with big man Callum Sinclair also very impressive inside 50.
Young gun Isaac Heeney (knee tendonitis) trained well and should be right to take on the Giants in a game that is close to being a sell out.
Reid continued his rehabilitation after injuring his hamstring in an intra-club match on February 12, and Longmire said that the Swans would continue to be conservative with the versatile tall.
The 24-year-old suffered a significant tear in the same hamstring during last year's qualifying final loss to Fremantle.