SYDNEY co-captain Luke Parker has praised 'competitive beast' Dane Rampe for continuing to inspire his young teammates, even while sidelined with a broken finger.
Rampe's ability to push through the pain barrier when many others wouldn't be able to was called on again after he broke a finger in training two weeks ago. He still ran out to face Richmond a few days later, and lined up again against Essendon in round four.
With the break to Rampe’s finger not improving with time, the Swans decided the 2016 All-Australian defender needed surgery on Monday rather than continuing to play under duress.
"To see what he pushes through, that's a great thing for our young guys. Just to see the ability he's able to play at, under those conditions, and continually put his hand up week after week with those injuries," Parker said.
"He hasn't missed much since he started here, but unfortunately this will put him out for a couple of weeks."
This isn't the first time Rampe has played with a broken bone.
The 30-year-old played on with the same injury last season, until the plate that had been inserted into the hand was dislodged and his year had to be called to a close.
"He's just had a bad trot and he's been able to play with it, as we saw last year, for a number of weeks," Swans coach John Longmire said.
"He's genuinely tough. He gets through, just gets on with the job.
"It has just been bad luck. Hopefully he starts to get right now, because he's been stiff."
Rampe’s injury leaves the Swans with one fewer option to try to tie down Greater Western Sydney’s stand-in skipper Toby Greene, who has kicked five goals in each of his past two games.
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George Hewett could have first crack at the in-form forward, after taking on a similar job on Richmond’s Dustin Martin during Sydney’s upset 45-point win in round three.
With a relatively short injury list, the Swans have several defenders to choose from to take Rampe’s place in the backline for the Sydney Derby.
"We've got a squad mentality, and we've got a lot of other boys who have been putting up their hand this week," Parker said.
"[Lewis] Melican and [Kaiden] Brand have been playing some really good footy in the reserves."
The Swans look set to welcome back James Rowbottom as he recovers from a knee injury picked up in round one against Brisbane.
The midfielder trained well with the main group on Monday, and Longmire said he expects Rowbottom to complete another long session on Wednesday and then be available for selection.