The sight of the No.23 in action would be a huge morale boost for a youthful Swans side not expected to feature in the finals action after winning just three of their first eight games.
“He’s doing light skills and knowing Lance he’ll be knocking on the door pretty soon. But we obviously need to take a cautionary approach but certainly hopeful of seeing Lance in a couple of …,” Harley, who was the Swans’ head of football before taking over as chief executive after the 2018 season, said before pulling himself up.
“I shouldn’t put a timeline on it, I’ll get into trouble, but before the season’s out.
“We won’t rush to deadlines to squeeze Lance into any particular game. We’ll make sure he goes through all the appropriate hurdles.”
The Swans play St Kilda and Collingwood in Brisbane then head to Perth to serve their quarantine before taking on the Giants next month. Their future beyond that remains unclear with the AFL yet to release a fixture beyond round 12.
Having already played West Coast, the Swans would presumably to play Fremantle in round 13 before leaving the Perth hub.
Where they go after that is dependent on the coronavirus outbreak in Sydney easing sufficiently for Queensland’s border restrictions to be lifted. The Swans, however, have told players to plan to be away for eight weeks.
It has been a hectic few days for the Swans and Harley, who was informed on Tuesday night by AFL chief Gillon McLachlan.
“It’s like a lot of things, it’s unknown. Clearly we’re working with the AFL, we’re ultimately under their leadership regarding their next set of fixtures,” Harley said.
“We’d love to come back to Sydney, no doubt about it, but we need to be realistic and have a high level of pragmatism amongst our travelling parties as to what happens post-Perth.
“So preparing the players, the families, we’re talking about an eight-week period. But if it ends up being a three-and-a-half-week period we’ll adjust to that as well.”
The Swans are taking a smaller group to than other clubs with families and partners not accompanying players to Queensland.
Andrew Wu writes on cricket and AFL for The Sydney Morning Herald