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‘There is life after a couple of knee reconstructions’: Longmire backs Naismith to play again

“It’s terrible news for him at the moment but he’ll digest that and get stuck into his rehab and get going again,” he said.

Swans coach John Longmire is confident Sam Naismith's AFL career isn't over.

Swans coach John Longmire is confident Sam Naismith’s AFL career isn’t over.Credit:Getty

“Once he has that operation, you feel like then you’re having a step forward.

“I’ve had two knee reconstructions myself. There is life after a couple of knee reconstructions. You’ve just got to be able to embrace the challenge ahead and get on with it … it’s probably sinking in now that it’s another rehab in front of him but it’s also a chance to have a chat and put things in perspective.

“He saw what his sister went through and what her kids obviously, the challenges they’ve had, and so it’s a knee reconstruction. We’ll deal with it, work through it and put things in perspective.”

Callum Sinclair looks set to lead Sydney’s ruck division against his former club, West Coast, on Saturday on the Gold Coast – a game that was hastily arranged in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria. The Swans were originally poised to host Melbourne at the SCG on Sunday.

“You expect the unexpected in this environment,” Longmire said.

“Our forward scout probably took a deep breath and had to get to work a little bit harder than what he thought he had all done at the end of last week, but that’s OK, we’ll get on with that.”

Across town, Greater Western Sydney will face on Hawthorn at Giants Stadium on Sunday and may as well get comfortable, with ongoing restrictions likely to mean they won’t leave Sydney for several weeks.

The situation in Victoria is set to force the AFL to move the 10 clubs from there into interstate hubs, with NSW and its open borders a clear contender to accommodate several teams.

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With Queensland and now South Australia enforcing two-week quarantines on sides who travel to Victoria or play against Victorian opposition elsewhere, Sydney could be an option for those teams to cycle through on their way home, playing the Swans and Giants as they serve their 14 days.

“We certainly wouldn’t mind playing [more] at Giants Stadium,” said Tom Green, the rookie midfielder who has been named the AFL’s rising star nominee for round four.

“I think a hub in Sydney would be fantastic. It’d be a great opportunity to grow the game up here in Sydney and be able to host some big Melbourne teams and play some really good games up here. We’ve got great facilities here, it’d be an awesome spectacle for the game, and everyone loves playing at home.”

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