SYDNEY'S ruck crisis and another clearance mauling from Geelong has coach John Longmire contemplating a shock call-up for forgotten big man Sam Naismith.
The Swans were smashed in the clearances (46-28) and hitouts (47-14) for the third week in a row, with the numbers in the centre square hitouts (21-1) even more depressing for the home side.
Young second-gamer Hayden McLean and utility Robbie Fox tried hard but were no match for Cats ruckmen Zac Smith and Esava Ratugolea at the SCG.
The Swans were well beaten in the middle against the Cats. Picture: AFL Photos
With Callum Sinclair (shoulder) gone for the season and rookies Michael Knoll and Joel Amartey still developing, Longmire might have no choice but to pick Naismith for next week's derby against Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium.
The 27-year-old played his first competitive game since 2017 against Brisbane in the NEAFL just hours before Sydney lost to Geelong by 27 points.
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It would be a risk to play Naismith against GWS, but Longmire was impressed by his big man's return.
"He was good, he played a bit over 60 minutes and kicked a couple of goals," Longmire said after the Geelong loss.
"He got through and looked fantastic and was charging around which is great news.
"From what I saw he looked really confident, he was a running around and following up.
"Not only does he have genuine size, he's a jumper at centre bounces and gives our guys another look at it.
"We've also got to be smart, we're not sure he's done enough work yet.
"The right decision for the team is to bring him in pretty quickly, but it's got to be the right decision for the team and Sam in the longer term as well."
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The news isn't as positive for livewire forward Will Hayward, who won't play again this season.
Hayward missed the Cats defeat with injury and Longmire revealed he had hip surgery on Friday.
It was similar to the operation he had on his other hip last year.
The 20-year-old has been clearly hampered by the problem this season, managing just 12 goals from his 13 games.
Longmire said the Swans decided the best course of action for Hayward looking towards 2020 was to have the operation.
"He was playing with it this season and it became too painful for him to keep playing," he said.
Longmire said Oliver Florent is a chance to face the Giants after he was pulled out of the Cats clash late with a hip flexor issue.