SYDNEY forward Sam Reid is set to be named for his first game of the season, to provide some of the experience and marking power that has been sorely missing from the Swans forward line for much of this year.
The 196cm key forward has battled a series of different leg injuries but is ready to put the setbacks behind him for the match against Hawthorn at the SCG on Saturday.
WHERE ARE YOU? The player's we're yet to see in 2020
Reid's injury nightmare started early in the year when a slight hamstring strain forced him to miss the Marsh Community Series.
He was looking to return in time to play for the Swans in round one, but discomfort in his knee had revealed damage to his meniscus that needed an arthroscope operation.
ROUNDS 8-12 Check out the full fixture
The shutdown period between rounds one and two gave Reid time to recover from his knee operation without missing any more matches, but calf soreness was the next injury concern to strike.
THE FULL INJURY LIST Who is racing the clock?
The 2012 premiership player is all too familiar with the rehabilitation unit at the Swans, playing only one game in 2018 due to serious quad and Achilles injuries, and missing the entire 2016 season because of recurring soft-tissue complaints.
"I played a full season last year, for the first time in my career. Then this year has been stop-start again, so that's been disappointing," Reid told reporters on Thursday.
"It's disappointing that I can say that I know what rehabilitation is about, because I've been there plenty of times.
"But I'm confident now with the work I've done, I can look to have another strong season."
THE LADDER Where is your team sitting?
The 28-year-old said his focus for this week is to bring "leadership and direction" to a young forward group that has been undermanned and undersized in recent weeks – a significant reason why the Swans have often struggled to score much this season.
Reid's return, as well as Tom McCartin getting through the game against Gold Coast, should help take some pressure off the younger talls such as second-year forward Nick Blakey.
"It's always frustrating watching, particularly with the youth we've got out there at the moment," Reid said.
"Tom Papley has been doing a great job [in the forward line]. He's the most experienced out there and he's playing like a man possessed. He's been putting a lot on his shoulders and playing really well.
"But it's hard to replace experience, and hopefully a few more experienced heads out there will be helpful."