SYDNEY has suffered a setback in the run into the finals with ruck recruit Peter Ladhams to miss at least three weeks with a broken thumb.

The former Port Adelaide big man was subbed out in the second quarter of the Swans' resounding 53-point win over the Western Bulldogs on Friday night and is now set for another stint on the sidelines in what has been a disrupted first season for the 24-year-old in the Harbour City.

"He has an operation today on his thumb. At this stage we're thinking around the three weeks which is unfortunate for him," Swans coach John Longmire said on Monday afternoon.

"It could have been a bit worse so the fact that it's three weeks, whilst not ideal, I was probably thinking after the game it could have been a bit longer than that so I'll take the glass half-full approach with him."

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Ladhams' absence will be alleviated by the expected return of Tom Hickey, who missed Friday night's game with illness, while the sustained good form of Sam Reid in the pinch-hitting ruck role will also help.

The 30-year-old was commanding on the ball after Ladhams left the field on Friday night, racking up 15 disposals, all of which were contested, 25 hitouts and 13 tackles.

Sam Reid in action during Sydney's win over the Western Bulldogs in round 17, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"He's quite smart, quite strong, he's got a bit of ruck craft too – he can move around the square or circle or around the ground. His follow-up is fantastic, a really high level so we're really looking forward to seeing him keep developing," Longmire said of Reid.

Saturday night's blockbuster in the west against the third-placed Dockers hardly needs a subplot but as he so often does, Lance Franklin will provide one.

With 1029 goals under his belt, Franklin is only two goals away from equalling Gary Ablett (1031) in fifth place on the all-time VFL/AFL goalkickers list.

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Franklin could achieve the feat in his home state of Western Australia this weekend, and the looming milestone prompted reflections from Longmire on his days of playing against the man Buddy could surpass this weekend.

"Gary Ablett the player, I actually played on him one day at full-back and he had six on me to half-time so my memories of playing on him aren't that great. He was one of the most dynamic, explosive forwards to ever play the game," Longmire said.

"He was a completely different player to Lance. At his size and agility, he's a bit different but their impact on games is very much the same.

"At that age it's a challenge for every player to keep the consistency up at that level. Every week he's (Franklin) got the best defender and to be able to manage that every week is a challenge for him but he's just a massive competitor and loves to play in the big games."