Callum Mills in action at Sydney training on May 30, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

SYDNEY captain Callum Mills will be considered for a return against North Melbourne on July 13 for what would be his first game at any level since September last year.

Mills has been sidelined since suffering a serious shoulder injury in a Mad Monday incident last October, with a calf issue this year also hampering his recovery.

The 27-year-old will be given another two weeks on the training track before he's in the frame for selection, with the Swans playing the Kangaroos in both the VFL and AFL in Sydney on July 13.

"Hopefully he gets through to the end of next week training in the way he did today. If he pulls up well at the end of next week, we'll have a conversation about the week after," Swans coach John Longmire said on Tuesday.

"For want of a better term, I guess it's like a mini pre-season to get enough work into him to be able to sustain a decent run of football.

"We've got to make sure we get that right, so we're giving him the opportunity to do that now. He's training, he's pulling up well ... and he's experienced so he knows what he needs to do in a preparation sense."

Longmire did not confirm if Mills would be brought straight back into the senior side or be given a run in the twos first. The VFL/AFL double-header against North will also be the comeback game for Luke Parker following his lengthy suspension.

Luke Parker during Sydney's training session at the SCG on May 21, 2024. Picture: Phil Hillyard

More immediately, it's Fremantle's midfield that is on Longmire's mind ahead of their clash at the SCG on Saturday.

Put on notice for caring more about individual stats more than a team performance, Hayden Young (three goals), Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw and ruck Sean Darcy brought the heat and the goals to lift Fremantle to a 20-point victory against Gold Coast last Sunday.

Longmire believes the fifth-placed Dockers will be formidable foes for the league leaders' midfield unit of Isaac Heeney, Chad Warner, Errol Gulden, James Rowbottom and ruck Brodie Grundy.

"Their pressure was enormous around the ball," Longmire said.

"Their coach put it on the agenda for them and they responded in great fashion, so we see that as a big battle, to be able to match what Fremantle are able to deliver.

Hayden Young celebrates a goal during Fremantle's clash against Gold Coast in round 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"They've got quality midfielders, real quality midfielders.

"They've got two big guys in the ruck (Darcy, Luke Jackson) who give them first look no matter who's on board at what particular time of the game, so that's a big ask.

"We're mindful of their strengths, so we're doing some work on them now, understanding it's going to be a real big contest."

With nine rounds left of the regular season, the Swans are staying clear of early premiership declarations, despite the growing hype.


Asked what keeps him up at night as they charge towards finals, Longmire looks at his watch: "Oh, we haven't got enough time.

"It's amazing what goes through a coach's mind. You think about everything and it doesn't stop.

"We seriously wouldn't have enough time to go through what you think about, but what we've been pleased with is the attitude of our players wanting to get better, and how they're working for and with each other on game day.

"It's not easy, but we're striving to continue to do that every week."