Swans fear ruck Naismith needs knee recon

Rob Forsaith

Luckless ruckman Sam Naismith faces another AFL season on the sidelines because of a serious knee injury suffered on Thursday night, when Sydney donned a black armband in memory of his late sister.

Naismith, who missed all of 2018 and 2019, went some 919 days without playing a game because of a knee reconstruction and ensuing complications.

The big man will soon undergo scans, but Swans coach John Longmire admits his club fears the worst.

The cruel setback came late in the final quarter of the Swans' loss to Western Bulldogs on Thursday night, when Naismith was playing for the first time since his sister Kristi died from pancreatic cancer.

The Swans donned two black armbands during the game, one for Kristi and one for skipper Josh Kennedy's grandfather.

"I only spoke to him briefly but it looks like he's done it," a shell-shocked Longmire told reporters.

"There's nothing you can say (to him). Nothing you can say. You just have to be there sometimes.

"It obviously has to get confirmed. But he needs some time to digest it.

"He came back and played round one, played really well, then in the break he lost his sister. Then he comes back and does his knee.

"We need to be with him and look after him. Because he's had a terrible run, in a number of ways. We need to look after him."

Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge described Naismith's injury as "quite tragic".

Naismith, speaking in March prior to making his comeback in round one, admitted he had lost a sense of purpose while recovering from his multiple right-knee injuries.

"I'd had eight years of setbacks and injuries, off the field there was a fair bit of family stuff happening with some family members getting pretty sick," Naismith said at the time.

"There was a point there where I thought I wasn't going to play. I was thinking 'why am I doing this?'"