SYDNEY coach John Longmire has praised defenders Dane Rampe and Aliir Aliir and revealed the former could be back earlier than expected from his arm injury.

Aliir was omitted from the Swans side to play the Brisbane Lions at the SCG last Sunday, after turning up late for their eve-of-match run.

He is no certainty to face North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, but Longmire's faith in the defender's character remains unshaken.

"Aliir's a fantastic character, he's been wonderful for this footy club over the last couple of years and still very good, he just made a mistake," Longmire said.

All-Australian backman Rampe has been sidelined since round one after breaking his arm a few metres from the Swans' offices, as he tripped on a chain he tried to jump over.

Sydney have badly missed Rampe's quality, losing their first six matches and conceding uncharacteristically high scores before getting their first win last weekend.

Longmire previously feared Rampe might not return until after the Swans' bye next month.

However, he said Rampe's specialist on Monday was very pleased with the player's progress, though he was unlikely to return this week.

"He's been running and training this week and the expectation is he may be a chance next week," Longmire said.

"If that's what happens, we'll be pretty happy with that.

"It looked as though it was going to maybe be out up until the bye at one stage, but if we get him back next week, that will be a pretty good result.

"He's healed pretty quickly and his attention to detail and how he's going about his rehab is outstanding.

"He's extremely keen and because he's been running so well, his fitness is actually in a pretty good state."

Longmire said utility Gary Rohan and ruckman Kurt Tippett were both looking pretty positive in their efforts to return from injury for this weekend's game.

"We're hoping that for the first time this season that this week, and hopefully next week, we start to get some players back without losing some players at the same time," the coach said.