THE SYDNEY Swans have received some positive news on the injury front, with important defender Nick Malceski cleared of major hamstring damage and expected to play in the club's preliminary final.
The 30-year-old will be eased through training this week, but should be fine when the Swans face either Geelong or North Melbourne in their Grand Final qualifier on Friday week.
"He's good, his hamstring's fine, he's got a bit of minor swelling there and nothing major at all," coach John Longmire said on Monday.
"He feels really good and at this stage he's looking to run next Monday, train next Wednesday and be available to play next week.
"It's worked out really well to have the weekend off and him not play this week and prepare as best he can to be available for selection next week."
Outside of Malceski, the rest of the Swans had pulled up understandably sore from a bruising, intense final against the Dockers, but otherwise unhurt.
The team will train as usual on Tuesday and Thursday this week and also have a training run on Saturday during their weekend off.
Josh Kennedy, Ben McGlynn and Craig Bird all returned from injury against Freo and the Swans' list is in good shape at the right time of year.
"It's good to have most of your list available," Longmire said.
"That's important, to have the majority of your list available, and that doesn't always happen.
"We've still got a couple of weeks to go before our preliminary final on that Friday night, but at this stage most of the players should be available for that game."
Longmire will head to Melbourne to watch the Cats take on the Kangaroos on Friday night.
North knocked off the Swans by 43 points at the SCG back in round four, holding them to a season-low 48 points.
In their only meeting this year, the Swans belted Geelong by 110 points back in round 11, but Longmire insists he doesn't have a preference for who his team plays.
"Not at all. Everyone is a good team at this time of year and you've got to beat the best teams if you want to be in it at the end of September," he said.
"We'll watch the game on Friday night and sit down and prepare as best we can once we know the opponents."
There is also some doubt over the venue for next Friday night's preliminary final, with the NRL finals potentially impacting on the availability of ANZ Stadium.
If there is a clash, the SCG may be used instead, but Longmire's only concern is that the game is held in Sydney.
"It wouldn't worry me if it was across the road here," Longmire said, gesturing towards the Lakeside Oval training ground opposite the SCG.
"We're playing in a prelim final and we're playing at home for the second time in a finals series.
"I think our players really look forward to that.
"Whether it's there, here, it doesn't matter, it's about playing the type of football we want to play against the best opposition going around."