SYDNEY superstar Lance Franklin's 300th game celebration is on hold again after the superstar forward re-injured his hamstring in Friday night's win over Hawthorn at the SCG.
In game 299, Franklin continued the form he showed before last week's mid-season bye, with four goals from limited opportunities early in the third quarter opposed to James Frawley.
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But his night ended later in that term when he felt a twinge in his left hamstring after taking off on a strong lead inside Sydney’s forward 50.
“Lance had a scan this morning which confirms a strain to his hamstring. We will know more once he is assessed by the medical team early next week but early indications are that he will miss 3-4 weeks.”— Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) June 22, 2019
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The 32-year-old had spent several minutes on the bench just before he went down and was clearly frustrated by his inability to get back onto the field when the play was camped on the opposite side of the ground.
Sydney coach John Longmire said post-match that Franklin's extended spell on the bench certainly wasn't planned.
"We couldn't get a runner out there (to get him back on)," he said.
"We wanted him back on, believe me we wanted him on the ground, but when there's a long break in play between goals you can't get anyone off now.
"We were trying to call out from the bench, but you can't actually do anything.
"I don't know if that contributed (to the injury) or not and nobody will ever know."
Longmire spoke earlier this season about his dislike for the new rules allowing teams to only use runners after a goal has been scored, and he again called on the AFL's rules committee to re-visit the regulations at the end of the season.
"I'd like to think they would (look at the rule), but I'm not sure they will," he said.
"You'd like to think that we would be able to get the runner out there a bit more, we're not out to ruin the game.
"It's about rotating players and getting them on and off the ground, and protecting them at times, rather than trying to choke up the game."
Groin surgery over summer meant Franklin didn't take part in much of Sydney's pre-season training phase, and Longmire said it's no surprise to see the gun forward struggling with injuries this year.
Franklin missed four games earlier in the year with a separate injury to his left hamstring.
"He's a champion player we know that, but he had no pre-season which has hurt him," Longmire said.
"The players have really improved (with their preparation), but there's an old saying that if you have a good pre-season, you have a good season.
"Lance didn't get going until just before the season so he wasn't able to get that conditioning under his belt.
"We can't do anything about it now, we just have to get him going again."
Longmire said youngster Tom McCartin, who was dropped for the Hawks clash, would more than likely come in to replace Franklin when the Swans take on Gold Coast in round 15.