THE SYDNEY Swans have suffered a significant blow early in their qualifying final against Fremantle, with half-back Nick Malceski substituted out at quarter-time with a suspected hamstring injury.
Malceski, who has been one of the Swans' best performers all season and is considered a likely All Australian this year, came off late in the first quarter at ANZ Stadium and clearly had an issue with his leg.
He was then subbed out during the quarter-time break, replaced by Craig Bird.
Coach John Longmire wasn't prepared to speculate on any possible outcome for the damaging defender.
"He just felt his hamstring a little bit when he kicked around the body," Longmire said.
"He's felt it before a bit and we thought he'd be right and keep him going, but he was a bit sore still so we subbed him out.
"We'll see how he goes during the week.
"You don't know whether it's just tight or … you just don't know.
"I'm sure a few people will write what they want about it, but until you get a scan, we don't know."
Playing his first match since round 21, when he strained a posterior cruciate ligament in his knee, Bird was thrust into the fray earlier than the Swans' coaching staff would have hoped.