SYDNEY superstar Lance Franklin is set to go under the knife to repair a fractured finger and miss the next two to three games.
The four-time Coleman Medal winner will meet with a specialist in Sydney on Monday afternoon to determine the extent of the injury.
Franklin suffered the injury while attempting to tackle North Melbourne defender Josh Walker in Saturday's come-from-behind 11-point win at the SCG – the first game at the venue since Franklin became the sixth player to boot 1000 goals.
"At this stage, we expect him to have a minor operation on his finger and be out for a couple of weeks. He is going to see a specialist this afternoon," Sydney coach John Longmire said on Monday.
"We expect him to be out for a couple, maybe three worst-case scenario. We will know more this afternoon, but we expect it to be around that 2-3 week mark."
Young key forwards Logan McDonald (3.4 from 17 disposals and 11 marks) and Joel Amartey (4.2 from 12 disposals and six marks) both put their hands up to fill the void left by Franklin, producing eye-catching performances in Sydney's win over Port Melbourne in the VFL.
"We'll see how they pull up and we'll make that call later in the week, but we feel like we've got some options there," Longmire said.
"Obviously no one can replace Lance, and we don’t expect it. But to come in and play that key forward role, we feel like we've got a couple of players who can come in and do that."
Mature-age recruit Paddy McCartin has been cleared of any lingering concerns after a big collision with North Melbourne forward Cam Zurhaar in the fourth quarter.
All-Australian small forward Tom Papley has been ruled out for another week due to the hamstring injury he suffered in a practice match against Greater Western Sydney at the end of February.
The 25-year-old was initially expected to miss between four to six weeks, but has taken longer to clear the final hurdle of his recovery than first hoped.
Longmire put a line through Papley for the trip to face West Coast at Optus Stadium on Good Friday but indicated he could be available for the clash against Hawthorn in Launceston on Anzac Day if he increases his training load over the next fortnight.
"No he is not (a chance to play). He is upping his training. It was a significant injury with his hamstring. He's been training now for a few weeks but only at 80 per cent pace, so he hasn’t gone to that next level which we expect him to do this week and next week. Hopefully a couple of weeks of really hard training for him before we are able to pick him," he said.
"We thought it was originally going to be a six-week injury when he first went out; it was a reasonable injury there in his hamstring. We initially planned on that, but it will be that and a week or two more if we look at the whole extent of it.
"There hasn’t been any setbacks. It's just being conservative in terms of being back to full speed running. We haven’t got to maximum speed which we hope to do this week and next week. He is clearly a critical player for us and we hope to get him back, but it certainly won't be this week."