HIS INJURY from last season has healed, but the jibes about the freakish cause continues to dog Sydney defender Dane Rampe.
Vice-captain Rampe missed seven games last season when he suffered a broken arm as he unsuccessfully tried to jump over a chain near the Swans headquarters.
It occurred before round two and Rampe's commanding presence down back was sorely missed, as the Swans went 0-6.
Following his return in round nine, Sydney won 13 of their last 16 games.
Nine-and-a-half months after suffering the injury, Rampe is still frequently reminded of his costly bout of clumsiness.
"I reckon it probably gets mentioned to me once a week," Rampe said.
"I probably deserve it because it was bloody stupid and I'm never going to live it down."
In 2017, some Swans, including former co-captain Kieren Jack, hadn't fully recovered from pre-season ailments and were clearly below their best at the start of the season.
Determined to avoid any repetition of their calamitous start to 2017, Sydney have been nursing a number of senior players through pre-season.
"We did have blokes who were very sore at the end of the year and they've been on a lighter program pre-Christmas," Rampe said.
"We've got a lot more numbers on the track than we had this time last year.
"I think we've had about three-quarters of the list on the park."
Sydney have made the past eight finals series, reaching three Grand Finals in that time and Rampe believes they have the potential to win a first flag since 2012.
"I don't see why not," Rampe said.
"We're confident with the group we've got, but at the same time there's so much work to do.
"We're honestly not looking too far ahead, because we found out pretty quickly that should you go away from that you start 0-6, and we're not going to let that happen again this year."