IMPRESSIVE young midfielder Luke Parker was taken to hospital with an eye injury to top off a disappointing night for the Sydney Swans in their 35-point defeat at the hands of West Coast in Blacktown.
On an evening when coach John Longmire rested a swag of first-choice midfielders and gave a number of young Swans a chance to impress, few took advantage of it.
It was a situation made worse by the injury to the tough, talented Parker, who had enjoyed a stellar pre-season to date before being forced off in the first quarter.
"I'm not sure how serious it is," Longmire told reporters after the game.
"'Gibbsy' (Swans doctor Nathan Gibbs) sent him across to the hospital, so it was serious enough for that.
"Luke wouldn't just come off it was a poke in the eye.
"We rested the majority of our mids tonight and to lose him early was disappointing because in that mix he was one of our senior mids out there.
"We lost him early and clearly it's bad enough to send him to hospital.
"I'm not sure what the story is, he had some bleeding behind the eye."
Josh Kennedy, Jarrad McVeigh, Kieren Jack and Ben McGlynn sat out the game, with youngsters Dan Robinson, Jake Lloyd and Harry Marsh among those given some senior game time.
Afterwards, Longmire found it difficult to single out too many that had taken advantage of the opportunity.
"We just didn't win the ball," he said. "We were minus-40-odd in contested ball (it was 180-139) for the game and just didn’t get our hands on the footy.
"I think we only had three inside 50s in the third quarter and we didn't win the ball, which is the most basic of basics and we didn't do it.
"I'm not thrilled.
"I'd need to sit back and review it in the cold light of day … it was a scrappy, slippery game and hard to find really good players all game."
One bright spark was the form of Gary Rohan, who has regained full fitness following his long recovery from a broken leg suffered in 2012.
On a night when the Swans managed just five goals, Rohan bobbed up with three of them.
"He was OK and looked lively in that last quarter," Longmire said.
"He got a knock in the third term and I asked him if he was sore or not, but he was fine and kicked a goal or two in the last quarter."
The Swans' big guns will be back next week when the club finalises its pre-season against the Brisbane Lions in Queensland.
"We'll play our strongest possible side next week," Longmire said.
"Alex Johnson probably won't play, but the rest who are available will play."