AFL SWANS TRAINING
Luckless Swan Sam Naismith has been sidelined for Sunday's AFL clash with Essendon with a hamstring complaint.
The 27-year-old ruckman made his long-awaited AFL return in Sydney's narrow round one win over Adelaide, after two straight seasons out with knee injuries.
But a tight hamstring has scuppered his hopes of stringing together back-to-back senior games for the first time since the 2017 finals series.
Zippy small forward Ben Ronke has also been left out of the Swans' extended squad to face the Bombers at the SCG as he recovers from a knee injury.
After being overlooked for their season opener, veteran big man Callum Sinclair is one of six inclusions for round two along with George Hewett, Robbie Fox and Ryan Clarke.
Draftees Dylan Stephens and Chad Warner are also in line for AFL debuts if they survive Friday's final 22-man cut.
Sinclair's dual forward-ruck ability could be crucial in the absence of marking targets Lance Franklin (hamstring) and Sam Reid (knee).
"He's had a great pre-season and can obviously go forward and take some big pack marks and kick some goals," Swans co-captain Dane Rampe told reporters on Thursday.
Versatile defender Aliir Aliir has been named in the back pocket, but coach John Longmire may turn to him as a pinch-hitting ruck as he did against the Bombers in round 16 last year.
Aliir battled bravely as the sole ruckman in the 10-point loss, finishing with 22 hit-outs, 17 possessions and eight clearances.
With concerns over where the Swans will get their goals, Rampe backed jet-heeled Isaac Heeney and livewire Tom Papley to fill the void.
"We saw what Isaac can do deep as an isolated forward in round one (and) Tom Papley's only going from strength to strength," he said.
"We're really looking forward to seeing what they can do with a forward line to themselves."
Essendon's forward stocks have been hit equally hard.
Joe Daniher (groin) and Orazio Fantasia (quad) are both out, while Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti remains in the extended squad despite suffering an ankle injury at training last weekend.
But Rampe is still wary of the Bombers' dynamic mosquito fleet.
"Tipungwuti and (Jake) Stringer are the two that come to mind," he said.
"We've just got to put our work into them and respect them for the players that they are, which is really good ground-level players that are strong above head."