LANCE Franklin is expected to be fit for Sydney's tough test against Richmond on Saturday, but coach John Longmire stopped short of guaranteeing the superstar forward would play his second game in 18 months.
Franklin has pulled up well from his comeback game against Adelaide, when he kicked three goals in his first competitive match in 581 days.
But the Swans now have to consider how to approach not only the clash with the Tigers at the MCG, but then a five-day turnaround for their round four match at the SCG against Essendon.
Longmire has repeatedly said that Franklin won't play every game this season, even if fully fit.
"He's OK today. We'll see how he goes over the course of the week," Longmire said on Monday.
"He got through the game pretty well, so that was really important for us, and for him to be able to do that.
"The aim is to make sure he keeps training, both through the gym work and also out on the training track.
"After the preparation he's had, we won't put him at risk."
Following the Bombers' clash, the Swans will have a nine-day break to prepare for the derby against Greater Western Sydney in round five.
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Even the promise of Franklin and Richmond superstar Dustin Martin gracing the field together wasn't enough to lure Longmire into confirming Buddy will play.
This weekend is the only time that Sydney and Richmond will play in the home and away season, and could be one of the few remaining opportunities for the modern-day greats to face-off.
"It's pretty hard to divorce the coach in me to the fan. [But] that doesn't really come into my decision-making," Longmire said.
"I understand it from the outsider's point of view, but we'll make the call on what's best for the team and Lance as well."
Martin has started the season fit and firing, and already looks to be approaching the sort of ominous form he regularly produces in finals.
The three-time Norm Smith medallist has averaged 30 touches per game in the first two rounds, to go with his three goals, in the type of displays that Longmire says puts Martin 'absolutely up there' in the best players he's seen.
"His performances in Grand Finals are unique," Longmire said.
"They don't even compare to anyone, it's just extraordinary. He's as good a big game, one-on-one player as I've seen.
"He continually puts it out there and plays well all the time."