SYDNEY superstar Lance Franklin has undergone an arthroscope on his right knee after experiencing discomfort over the past week.
Franklin, who turns 33 later this month, is expected to resume full training in 10 weeks, which places him in doubt for the Swans' season opener against Adelaide on Saturday, March 21.
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Despite the setback, head of football Charlie Gardiner is hopeful of Franklin taking to the field in round one.
"We may have been able to manage the knee through the year, but we're hopeful that this will mean Lance can have an uninterrupted season. He has had a similar clean up on his right knee in the past, so there are no long-term concerns," Gardiner said.
"We're expecting Lance to resume full training in around 10 weeks, which means he remains a chance to play in round one, but we clearly can't make that call until closer to the date.
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"On the positive side, Lance has been able to build a solid base over the pre-season as he had been training extremely well to date, so we expect that will assist in his recovery."
Franklin managed just 10 games in 2019. He missed four weeks early in the season with a hamstring complaint, before returning for five games and re-injuring the same hamstring.
The superstar returned in round 23 to play his 300th game.
Buddy needs 56 more majors to become just the sixth player to kick 1,000 career goals.
Franklin will join Tom Papley, Callum Sinclair, Sam Naismith, Harry Cunningham, Sam Gray, Colin O’Riordan and Jack Maibaum on the injury list.
It's a cruel blow for Franklin after returning to pre-season training earlier than required in November in great shape.
Franklin told AFL.com.au in December that 2019 had been the most frustrating year he's had in football.
The arthroscope is in line with the conservative approach the Swans have had with Franklin in recent times.
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"The club is holding me back a little bit, so I can build myself up gradually," Franklin said in December.
"You've got to move forward, and I've got full confidence in my body and the program we've got in place at the footy club that I can get myself prepared for a strong season."