SYDNEY superstar Lance Franklin has undergone groin surgery which will keep the gun forward off the training track until early next year.
Franklin had an operation on Tuesday to fix an injury that occurred late in the Swans' round 22 clash with Greater Western Sydney and kept him out of the club's final match of the home and away season against Hawthorn.
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The West Australian returned for Sydney's elimination final loss to the Giants where he was well beaten by Phil Davis in the 49-point drubbing at the SCG.
Sydney had hoped Franklin would be ready to resume pre-season training with the experienced members of the squad next Monday, but head of football Charlie Gardiner said the issue didn't heal in time.
Instead, this year's All Australian captain is expected to get back to skills training in early January.
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"It was planned that rest would be the optimal form of recovery post-season for Lance, however it hasn't healed at the rate we would have liked, and surgery was determined as the best course of action," Gardiner said.
"We are confident Lance will make a full recovery and he'll do everything possible to bounce back and play a big part in 2019."
Franklin had a tough run on the injury front this season and missed four games with two separate groin problems, while also battling a painful heel injury he carried for most of the year.
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The 31-year-old still managed to boot 57.43 from 19 matches and took his career total past the 900 mark, but it was just the second time he's failed to kick 60 goals in a single season since 2006.
The surgery isn't expected to hamper Franklin's preparation in the New Year.