Lance Franklin's baby joy ahead of long-awaited AFL return

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Sydney Swans star Lance Franklin and his wife Jesinta have welcomed their second child into the world, days away from Franklin's long-awaited return to the AFL. Pictures: Getty Images/Instagram
Sydney Swans star Lance Franklin and his wife Jesinta have welcomed their second child into the world, days away from Franklin's long-awaited return to the AFL. Pictures: Getty Images/Instagram

Lance Franklin and wife Jesinta have welcomed their second child into the world, prompting an outpouring of support from footy fans.

The Sydney Swans star is also due to make his first AFL appearance since 2019 this weekend, following a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a litany of injuries and setbacks.

The couple's second child, a boy, will be a younger sibling to the pair's eldest child Tullulah, born in February last year.

“Our baby has arrived,” Franklin wrote on Instagram, announcing the birth of his son.

There were plenty of comments in support of the pair, with Adelaide rival Taylor Walker commenting 'Congrats big fella'.

The 34-year-old successfully completed his return at state level for the Swans last weekend, with head coach John Longmire keen to get their star forward back on the park.

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“Lance pulled up fine and we expect him to play this week. It’s good to get him back in the team,” Longmire told reporters.

“He has done a lot of work since August last year, he has done a lot of strength work and he has been training for quite a while now so it is great to get him back into the team.

“He has got himself in pretty good nick quite a few times, and he just hasn’t quite got there so it is great to be able to have him back available to play, ready to go.

“We will train here (at the SCG) this week and he will be right to go on Saturday.”

Franklin will slot back into a side full of confidence after they marched north to upset flag fancies Brisbane in the first round.

They quickly conceded the first three goals but then swamped Chris Fagan's team, kicking 15 goals across the second and third quarters to run out 19.11 (125) to 14.10 (94) winners.

Debutants Errol Gulden (three goals and three assists from 19 touches), Logan McDonald (three goals) and Braeden Campbell (12 disposals) were standouts.

Demon Jack Viney firming for AFL return

Melbourne vice-captain Jack Viney is set for an AFL return as the Demons lose fellow midfielder James Harmes for at least six weeks.

Scans have revealed Harmes suffered a broken wrist in last weekend's season-opening victory against Fremantle.

"That is disappointing for James, he had a great summer and he has added a fair bit to our midfield," Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin told reporters on Wednesday.

"But at the same time it brings an opportunity for someone else."

Melbourne's Jack Viney is nearing an AFL return. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Melbourne's Jack Viney is nearing an AFL return. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Viney looms as the likely replacement for Saturday night's clash against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium with the stalwart recovered from foot injury.

"Jack, we think he has done enough work and we think he'll play but we will get through (training) this afternoon and see where it sits," Goodwin said.

But the Demons coach said the returns of fellow veterans Jake Melksham (hamstring) and Michael Hibberd (ankle) were less likely, despite both being cleared of injury and available for selection.

"There's no rush," Goodwin said.

"We think we have got depth in our list, we have got some young guys who are playing good footy.

With AAP

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