SYDNEY coach John Longmire has always liked his list stacked with ruck options but a serious shoulder injury to Callum Sinclair in Saturday's 42-point win over Gold Coast means his big man cupboard is all but bare.
Sinclair dislocated his right shoulder in the opening minute of the Swans' win, and while he bravely attempted to play on after getting the injury strapped, he was helped from the field again on the quarter-time siren in agony after it popped out again.
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The 29-year-old played no further part in the match and all signs point to Sinclair being unavailable for a couple of games at best, and the rest of the season at worst.
Callum Sinclair is helped from the ground for a second time on Saturday. Picture: AFL Photos
Adding to Longmire's headache is the fact that Sam Naismith (knee) hasn't played senior footy since 2017 and the promising Darcy Cameron (quad) is also injured.
That leaves Michael Knoll – the former SANFL ruckman picked up by Sydney in the mid-season draft – as the only fit player the coach can call on to replace Sinclair.
Sydney will anxiously await the results of Sinclair's scans ahead of next week's match against Essendon.
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"It came out a couple of times so that's not ideal," Longmire said post-match.
"Sam has been training and looking terrific but the medical guys won't give him the go ahead just yet.
"Darcy has had a bad run this year, starting with a PCL (strain) in the pre-season and now a quad, so that's unfortunate for him and us.
"That's why we loaded up on ruckmen in the pre-season draft and mid-season draft because you can't have enough of them."
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Knoll had 10 touches, 32 hit-outs and four tackles in Sydney's loss to the Suns in the NEAFL on Saturday, but Longmire said handing the responsibility of leading the Swans' ruck division at senior level to the newcomer might be too much.
"That's a big ask for someone to come in halfway through the year and do that, and he's still learning the game as well," he said.
"We're trying to teach him as quick as we can but whether he's up for AFL footy yet, we'll make that decision during the week."
Talk has intensified about the prospect of the League introducing a mid-season trade period between clubs from next season, a concept Longmire said he's a fan of.
"I've been on the aggressive side of (supporting the introduction of) that anyway," he said.
"With the trading of the picks we do now I think that's the start of it and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
"We'll get there, how long it takes I not sure, but it won't be this week."
Longmire even joked that he might contact Essendon counterpart John Worsfold over the next couple of days to make a gentlemen's agreement ahead of next week's clash at the MCG.
The Bombers lost their own ruckman Tom Bellchambers (calf) against Greater Western Sydney on Thursday night, so Longmire threw up some ways to deal with their ruck worries.
"Two mids in the middle (might be an idea), or rock, scissors, paper?" he said with a laugh.