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Swans in doubt: Two guns on light duties

Buddy doubt, Power losing hope Nat Edwards with the latest news

SUPERSTAR Lance Franklin remains in doubt for Saturday's crunch clash between Sydney and Hawthorn, having been on restricted duties at the club's final training session of the week. 

Midfield gun Luke Parker was also on restricted duties after pulling up sore following the bruising battle with Greater Western Sydney last week. 

The absence of Franklin would be a big blow to the Swans' hopes of winning their final game of the season, the winner of which will secure a top-four spot.

Franklin, who has a groin issue, completed a couple of handball drills and short kicks during Thursday's morning training before media were asked to leave. 

"All year he's been on a program to get him right for most weeks," ruckman Callum Sinclair told reporters prior to training. 

"The club and the boys are going to give him every chance, so fingers crossed." 

CURSE 2.0? Kennett pokes the Buddy bear

Meanwhile, Sydney players have laughed off comments by Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett about Franklin's performances against the Hawks.

Speaking on radio on Wednesday, Kennett said Franklin (who switched from Hawthorn to Sydney at the end of 2013) did not perform well against the Hawks.

Sinclair said the club preferred to shine a light on Buddy's extraordinary career, rather than any outside noise.

"I've played with 'Bud' a fair bit and I think his record speaks for itself," he said.

"I'm not one for statistics but I'd like to think he's been a pretty consistent performer over many years. 

"I don't think he's taken much notice of it, the players haven't taken any notice of it, and our focus is on trying to get a win this weekend.

"If the playing group's focus goes down the path of footy theatre then our mind is not really on the job." 

Sinclair's ability to impact as Sydney's sole ruckman will be vital for his side's chances on Saturday.   

The Hawks will likely go in with a pair of big men in Ben McEvoy and Jonathan Ceglar against the Swans, but Sinclair isn't bothered by the task.   

The 28-year-old is ranked fifth at the Swans for clearances this season and has been a strong presence around stoppages, while also being mobile enough to test opposition ruckmen when he pushes forward.   

"I like to think I can move around the ground pretty well and try and get my hands on the ball a fair bit," he said.   

"But when you're up against quality opponents you have to do a fair bit of work on their game and reduce their influence (as well).   

"There's probably a handful of sides that have been playing two rucks, but in terms of rotations, we've had guys giving me a chop-out.

"I'm running out games quite well and I've done it (solo) for most of the year, so we've managed that load quite well."

Fresh off his outstanding job in shutting down Greater Western Sydney star Stephen Coniglio in last week's derby in the second half, Sydney midfielder George Hewett will have the task of trying to stop Brownlow Medal favourite Tom Mitchell on Saturday night.   

The Swan kept his former teammate to just 20 possessions in round eight - one of just two games in 2018 that Mitchell has gathered less than 24 touches - and Sinclair is confident Hewett can limit his output again.   

"A lot of teams have tried," he said.   

"Tom's biggest strength is his work rate. He's got a massive ability to accumulate a lot of ball, and he's done that at the SCG a few times, so he knows the ground pretty well.   

"Tom has expected a bit of attention throughout his whole career so he'll be ready to go, I'm sure, but that’s just another battle in a pool of many on Saturday night."