Sydney champion Adam Goodes may not start his 16th AFL campaign until round four, while fellow key forward Kurt Tippett is unlikely to play in the Swans’ season opener.
Sydney coach John Longmire also revealed on Tuesday that another Swans key forward, prize recruit Lance Franklin, wouldn’t play in Thursday’s NAB cup clash with Greater Western Sydney.
Two of Sydney’s other tall forward options, Mike Pyke and Lewis Roberts-Thomson, will also sit out the match against the Giants in Canberra.
All three are expected to play the NAB Cup game against West Coast the following Thursday.
Dual Brownlow medallist Goodes – who has not played since round 13 last year – and Tippett are both recovering from knee injuries.
Tippett, Sydney’s leading goalkicker in 2013, has been troubled by tendonitis.
“Tippett was going along really well,” Longmire said.
“We’ve just backed him off for the next week or so and then he’ll go again, so he might be unlikely for round one.
“But we’ve got a bye in that second week which means it gives us another week to get him right.
“Goodesy is probably around round three or four to hopefully be able to set him himself up for a really strong season.”
Franklin has had a quadriceps issue during the pre-season, but still played an hour in an intra-club hit-out last week.
“Franklin and Pyke and Roberts-Thomson won’t play this week, we’ll get some game time into them next week, which was always our plan,” Longmire said.
“They did 60 minutes last week in an intra-club and they pulled up really well.
“It was always part of the plan to pick them next week and have a good hitout next week and the following week before round one.”