Swans back injured Sam Reid with rookie draft pick

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Sydney have delisted injured Sam Reid but plan to keep the premiership forward at the club via the rookie draft.

After missing the entire 2023 season with a hamstring injury, the 31-year-old is set to extend his long-running AFL career by another year.

Reid has had a horror run with injuries, missing the whole of the 2016 season and playing just one game in 2018.

Out of 336 possible matches with the Swans, Reid has only featured in 181 since being drafted at pick No.38 in 2009. He has scored 183 goals.

Having suffered an adductor injury in the 2022 preliminary final win over Collingwood, which he carried into the grand final loss to Geelong, the key tall injured his hamstring in a pre-season game in March.

The club was initially optimistic he would only be sidelined for a matter of weeks, but after struggling with his rehabilitation program, Reid underwent surgery in May, bringing a premature end to his 2023 campaign.

But the luckless veteran is determined to continue playing, and has spent the last six weeks of the off-season working on his fitness.

He is one of only two members of Sydney's 2012 premiership team still with the club, alongside now co-captain Luke Parker.

The Swans announced on Wednesday they have opted to back Reid as he bids to return to action next year, committing to re-drafting the now-delisted player in November's rookie draft.

"Sam has been a fantastic servant of this club for many seasons, and when he's fit and healthy is still a very capable key target and provides great flexibility and experience to our squad," Swans general manager Charlie Gardiner said.

"We have committed to taking Sam in the upcoming rookie draft, as we feel he can still play a valuable role on and off the field for us in 2024."

Defender Robbie Fox has been elevated from the Swans' rookie list after another consistent season in 2023.

Fox has played 87 games for Sydney since being taken as pick 34 in the 2016 rookie draft.

Meanwhile, Fremantle have added depth to their key position stocks by signing former Melbourne and Carlton defender Oscar McDonald.

The 27-year-old backman secured a two-year deal after a strong VFL season with Williamstown.

McDonald played a total of 86 senior games with the Demons and Blues between 2015 and 2022 but was hampered by injury.

He joins the Dockers after fellow tall defender Joel Hamling moved to Sydney as a free agent.

"He has a big, mature body (196cm and 100kg), was very good in one-on-one contests and is moving better than ever," Fremantle list boss David Walls said.

"Oscar played 20 VFL games in 2023, as well as practice matches, so is coming off a full season where he looked a level above the VFL competition.

"He gives us some coverage as a key back following Joel Hamling's move."