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Bolton set to take on Geelong

Sportal August 30, 2012, 1:43 pm
Jude Bolton

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Sydney coach John Longmire believes Jude Bolton's knee injury could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, with the veteran set to make his return for Saturday's final-round blockbuster against Geelong.

Bolton, who hyper-extended his left knee against Carlton in Round 19, trained with Swans on Thursday morning and will play, barring any late mishaps.

"Jude pulled up pretty well from training the other day and he bounced in as he normally does and put his magnet up on the board and said he's a chance to play," Longmire said on Thursday.

"If he trains today we'll play him, if he pulls up ok we'll play him."

The Swans surrendered top spot on the ladder with narrow losses to Collingwood and Hawthorn in Bolton's absence.

But Longmire expects the refreshed 32-year-old to make up for lost time at Simonds Stadium.

"At this point we plan on playing him as we normally do," Longmire said.

"He's only missed three weeks and he's actually been running for two and he's been doing a lot of running so we expect him to play full game time if he gets the tick after training today."

"Jude's actually feeling fresh.

"The benefit of having a couple of weeks off which he's never had at this time of the year is that he's jumping out of skin.

"Jude Bolton's a quality player, we know that, he's experienced, he's able to play forward and in the midfield and gives a bit of versatility to the team.

"I'm certain he'll be a plus, we don't expect him to perform miracles this week but we expect him to play a good solid role for us."

Having spent much of the season atop the AFL ladder, the Swans must beat the defending premiers to secure a home final and avoid a likely trip to Adelaide.

"It's a very simple equation this week, if we win we're at home next week and if we don't we're not," Longmire said.

"So it's very simple but it doesn't mean you treat it any different than any other game we play.

"We go to Geelong this week to play a team that in the second half of the year has been in red-hot form, that have won a few flags over recent years and have got a few star players coming back.

"We also firmly believe that our form has stood up ok, and last week against a team (Hawthorn) that has been red-hot favourites for most of the year in regards to the premiership, it was just an amazing game of pressure football and in the end the lead changed hands six times in the last quarter and I thought our blokes stood up ok.

"And that's what'll happen this week, it'll be a red-hot game between two teams that are desperate to win."

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