SYDNEY Swans midfielder Josh Kennedy says it's hard to see Lance Franklin suffering but he's hopeful, with the right treatment, his teammate can rejoin the playing group soon.
While unwilling to comment on the specifics of Franklin’s situation, Kennedy told the media on Thursday that it was comforting for the players to know that Franklin had family around him, plus the support of the footy world.
"We want the best for him, we're just happy that he's in good hands at the moment and hopefully he can get better as soon as possible, and we can have him back," Kennedy said on Thursday.
"Throughout the year there's been a lot of things that have come up and caused reason for (the) AFL (community) to get behind and support, whether it's an individual or a team, and this is no surprise really, we are one family at the end of the day and it's good to see."
While plenty has been made of the names missing from the Swans' side, with Franklin, Luke Parker (leg), Kieren Jack (knee) and Nick Smith (hamstring) all unavailable to take on the Dockers, Kennedy preferred to focus on the players who will be in Perth.
One of those is midfield gun Dan Hannebery, the AFL's leading possession-winner this season with 666 at more than 30 per game, who was this week crowned the AFL Coaches Association player of the year.
Kennedy himself has gathered at least 30 touches in his last 10 games on the trot, and led the league for contested possessions and clearances while being ranked second to Hannebery for total disposals in 2015.
The pair will fight it out for the Swans best and fairest and could well do the same on Brownlow medal night, and Kennedy believes Hannebery is a major reason behind his brilliant second half of the season.
"His year has been fantastic, we know he's a star but the level of consistency he's played this year has put him right at the top," Kennedy said.
"The way he's played and gone about it makes me a better player and he no doubt has that effect on a lot of others in the midfield and in the team.
"I'm sure he'll take confidence going over to Perth, so with a few out we'll have to really step up."
While Franklin will miss the trip West as he undergoes treatment for ongoing mental health issues, the support for the superstar Swan continues to grow around the country.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, who guided the club to two premierships with the West Australian as his marquee forward, told reporters on Thursday he had made contact with his former player offering his support.
Speaking before his side flew to Perth for a qualifying final against West Coast, Clarkson said while he hadn't spoken to Franklin, he and a number of Hawthorn’s players and staff had been in contact via text message, wishing the champion well.
“It's a pretty private matter and I'd probably like to leave it at that. But we just wish him all the best with what he's going through,” he said.
It comes as mental health advocate and former AFL star Wayne Schwass wrote a column on AFL.com.au about Franklin’s battle.