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COVID set to take shine off Franklin’s 1000th goal celebrations

The Swans are not expecting Franklin’s wife Jesinta and their two children Tallulah and Rocky to be allowed at the venue, though Lance senior could make the trip to Tasmania given Western Australia’s border arrangement with that state.

Families of Swans and Giants players have not been attending games in Melbourne. Exceptions were also not granted Burgoyne, Clarkson and Betts, while Travis Boak’s mother also missed her son’s 300th game this month despite a left-field plan for her to be part of a radio commentary team.

Franklin is on track to be just the sixth man to reach the magical 1000-goal milestone.

Franklin is on track to be just the sixth man to reach the magical 1000-goal milestone.Credit:Getty

It is unclear as yet how the AFL will honour Franklin’s milestone, having been preoccupied with COVID-related fixturing dramas. Ditto the Swans, who have their eyes on the big prize of a sixth premiership cup over an individual feat, albeit one of great historical significance.

The Swans’ major issues this week centre on the availability of midfield bulls Josh Kennedy and Callum Mills, who are both under injury clouds.

Mills pulled up sore on Sunday after being subbed out with Achilles tendonitis. The star on-baller collected 18 possessions and a goal but could not warm up sufficiently after half-time to play on.

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The injury has bothered him all season but worsened during two weeks of isolation last month in Queensland when he was unable to train properly. Mills is said to be confident of recovering in time for the first week of finals though the club will be wary of exposing him to the risk of further injury.

Kennedy, nursing a hamstring problem, ran on Saturday and remains in doubt.

The Giants also have big calls to make with senior players after qualifying for the finals with their win over Carlton.

Skipper Stephen Coniglio and former captain Phil Davis stepped up their push for a recall on Sunday, getting through a reserves scratch match against Essendon.

Coniglio, who played the closing stages of the game against the Blues as a medi-sub, suffered a setback three weeks ago to the toe he had reconstructed earlier in the year but appears to be winning his injury battle.

“He’s turned a corner,” Giants coach Leon Cameron said on the weekend. “If he’s right, he’s right, and we’ll definitely take him for finals footy.”

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