SYDNEY coach John Longmire believes veteran spearhead Lance Franklin is a week-by-week proposition, as his side prepares for yet another finals campaign.
The Swans booked their finals place with an 11.14 (80) to 8.12 (60) triumph over Greater Western Sydney at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night.
Franklin made the game his own with a five-goal haul but headed to the bench, grimacing, in the final moments of the match.
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The 31-year-old has played 18 games this year but spent several weeks on the sidelines earlier in the season as he battled a heel complaint.
"You just go from week to week, you can't map out anything you just go with how he is feeling," Longmire said.
"That's what we try and do. We leave it with our medical conditioning staff to get it right."
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The Swans can cement a place in the top four with a win over Hawthorn in their final home-and-away fixture next week.
Whether Franklin takes part in that crunch SCG clash remains to be seen.
"He's had a little bit more (training) in the last couple of weeks but we're not going to push it," Longmire said.
"He has done a little bit more the last couple of weeks, but we'll see how he pulls up after this."
The four-time Coleman medallist slotted one first-quarter goal against the Giants, but when his direct opponent Phil Davis headed to the bench with a hip injury in the second quarter, Franklin pounced.
GWS threw Jeremy Finlayson on Franklin, and also used Adam Tomlinson to clog the big-forward's space. But he still finished with 5.4.
Franklin's haul saw him leapfrog Leigh Matthews on the AFL/VFL all-time goalkicking leaderboard, to be in eighth place with 917 career majors.
"He's just such a competitor, he just loves getting out on the footy ground and competing hard," Longmire said.
Sydney's Luke Parker had 33 touches, including 15 in contests, and 10 clearances while Jake Lloyd (30 possessions) and Josh Kennedy (27 possessions) were also influential.
The Swans were written off after a dire loss to the Gold Coast at home in round 18, and an underwhelming Friday night defeat to the Bombers the following week.
However consecutive triumphs over finals-bound Collingwood (home), Melbourne (away) and GWS have breathed new life into their season.
Their pressure was a feature of the Saturday Sydney Derby victory, and the Bloods won the tackles 76-67.
"We had a good win against North (Melbourne) and we dropped away for two weeks, so it wasn't tipping off the face of the earth," Longmire said, of his side's see-sawing end to the year.
"We dropped away in our intensity and we thought during that two-week period we dropped too far.
"Then we just concentrated on getting our pressure up, and other things flow from that and I've said that consistently.
"That's what we needed to do, that's what we've done, and we need to keep doing it."