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Swans confident Tippett will be fit for round one

Swans confident Kurt Tippett will be fit for round one - AFL,Sydney Swans,Kurt Tippett
Swans confident Kurt Tippett will be fit for round one

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SYDNEY expects ruckman Kurt Tippett to be fit for the start of the 2018 season despite having major ankle surgery on Monday.

Tippett underwent a lateral ligament reconstruction in his left ankle after a having a nightmare of a season that started when the big man went down against the Western Bulldogs in round two.

The 30-year-old missed the next two games but never really recovered from the issue, and a combination of the battle with his body and poor form saw him dropped to the NEAFL.

Tippett managed just nine senior games for the year, his worst output in his 10 seasons in the League, and was overlooked for both of Sydney's finals with Sam Naismith and Callum Sinclair sharing the ruck duties.

Despite plenty of speculation that he could be on the outer, the club has maintained that Tippett wouldn't be exiting the Swans during this month's NAB AFL Trade Period.

Swans football manager Tom Harley told AFL.com.au that Tippett will begin running in December before ramping up his training in the new year, and is expected to be ready for round one next season, where he'll again be locked in a fight with Naismith and Sinclair for a spot in John Longmire's best 22.

"I guess it depends on how hard we want to push his return to play date, but given the season starts in April we've got a bit of time there," he said.

Harley said Tippett bravely tried to play on with the injury this year, and that led to a drop in his on-field performances and his confidence.

The athletic ruckman managed to get back to play the last four games of the regular season and showed some encouraging signs working in tandem with Sinclair, but hurt the ankle again in the Swans' massive win over Carlton at the SCG in round 23.

"The damage was done the first time he did it (against the Bulldogs) primarily, but he had some more minor incidents after that, and just had some general instability from there," Harley said.

"In the Carlton game (in round 23) he also had an episode so basically the operation is to rectify those issues, and it basically tightens up the ligament and makes the joint more stable.

"That'll mean that if he stands on someone's foot it doesn't roll, and that was the issue with him during the back end of the year."

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