ROUND 23 will be Lance Franklin's final chance to play his 300th game this year after the superstar Sydney forward was ruled out of Friday night's clash with Melbourne at the MCG.
Franklin hasn't played since he kicked four goals in the Swans' round 14 win over Hawthorn at the SCG because of a hamstring injury and has made just nine appearances for the season because of groin and hamstring issues.
The 32-year-old has joined his teammates on the track over the past fortnight and was considered a slight chance to face the Demons, but Sydney is taking an understandably conservative approach with its biggest name.
He will now set his sights on a return against St Kilda at the SCG on Saturday week.
Coach John Longmire said although Franklin needs more work before he's ready to return to the field, and his 300th game isn't a factor when it comes to his availability.
Buddy's last game for the season came in round 14 against the Hawks. Picture: AFL Photos
"Three-hundred (games) is a significant milestone but it's more about just not being able to be out there playing, that's what he gets disappointed about," he said.
"He's a massive competitor but he also knows that we don't want to put him back in there too early.
"It doesn't interest me what people are saying, it doesn't have any bearing on what we do internally.
"He's been out there training and recovering quite well but (the last time he was injured) he had a re-do of that hamstring, so we can't just throw him in with a week-and-a-half's football training under his belt.
"If that's next week it's next week, if it's not next week well it's not, but we'll make that call."
Retiring veteran Jarrad McVeigh (calf) is also training with an eye on playing his final match in the Swans' last game of the year.
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Longmire said the 34-year-old is no chance of playing this week but could be ready for a 325th match to finish his outstanding career against the Saints in front of his home crowd.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has spoken openly about possibly not recalling retiring forward Jarryd Roughead for one last game this season, and Longmire said the subject of farewell games for retiring stars was a complex one.
"I don't think it's fair to generalise the concept (of a farewell game) because every situation is different," he said.
"Every individual situation, what they've done or haven't done with their preparation, what young players are playing, all of those things come into the mix.
"I'd rather steer away from making a general statement on whether I believe or don't believe in farewell games because it depends on the club and player's situation at the time.
"That has to be weighed up, rather than whether you should or shouldn't (give a player a send-off)."