Buddy to be unleashed for game 300
LANCE Franklin's agonising wait for his milestone 300th game is over with the Sydney Swans star to face St Kilda at an emotional SCG on Saturday.
The star forward, who has been stuck on 299 games since suffering a hamstring injury during the round-14 home win over Hawthorn, was given a thorough workout on the training track yesterday and "ticked all the boxes".
Providing he emerges unscathed from tomorrow's training session, the 32-year-old will end a frustrating campaign on a positive note.
"Lance has trained solidly now for three weeks and put in another solid session this morning. From a medical perspective he has ticked all the boxes and the medical team are confident that he's ready to go," said Swans head of football Charlie Gardiner.
"So assuming he gets through training on Thursday I think he'll line up for his 300th game this weekend which is very exciting and great to have the big guy back."
As well as Franklin's milestone, the red and whites faithful will be hoping the occasion serves as a special farewell bash for both Jarrad McVeigh and Kieren Jack.
A calf injury has seen McVeigh racing against the clock to make one last hurrah before he hangs up the boots and begins a four-year coaching contract with the Swans next season.
Gardiner revealed that Thursday will be D-Day for McVeigh in his quest to say goodbye in the manner he so desperately wants.
"Jarrad's obviously desperate to play a last game for the Swans on Saturday," Gardiner said.
"He needs to complete training this week. He trained solidly Tuesday morning but still has to get through a solid session on Thursday.
"We won't make a decision until after training on Thursday and sit down with the medical team and work out whether he's done enough to play. So we'll have an update post-training on Thursday."
McVeigh has played 324 games in a 17-year Swans career, putting him third in the appearances list behind Adam Goodes (372) and Jude Bolton (325).
Bolton recently joked that McVeigh should push for two games and go past him but it looks now as though the record books will show the pair level - if McVeigh wins his fitness fight.
The clash with St Kilda, which sees the Swans host the fourth official Pride Game, is tracking for a crowd upwards of 30,000 with confirmation surrounding Franklin, Jack and (hopefully) McVeigh's involvement likely to provide a further boost.
Gardiner also revealed that ruckman Sam Naismith has recovered from ITB soreness and will play in the NEAFL side this weekend.
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