Buddy gets back to work with Swans

Lance Franklin has returned to Sydney Swans training for the first time in three months as he continues his battle with mental health issues. Photo: AAP Image/Paul Miller.
Lance Franklin has returned to Sydney Swans training for the first time in three months as he continues his battle with mental health issues. Photo: AAP Image/Paul Miller.

Sydney Swans coach John Longmire says he is confident star forward Buddy Franklin will be ready to line up against Collingwood in round one next season.

The three-time Coleman Medal winner (pictured) missed the team's two finals matches against Fremantle and North Melbourne last season after taking indefinite leave to undergo treatment for an undisclosed mental health issue.

He returned to training yesterday as the team kicked off its preparations for 2016, Longmire telling reporters that while his star goalkicker would continue to receive support for his issues, he was psychologically ready to resume his playing career.

"I think it's a good sign that he's back here and where he wants to be," the coach said.

"Ultimately, he feels really comfortable training and playing, and like any player, they thrive on that camaraderie of the playing group. They thrive on the spirit of battle on the football ground, they thrive to try and get better as players, and Lance is certainly no different even though he's got a higher profile then any other player on our list."

Longmire also said at this point in time, the club expected to have everybody available for the season opener.

"It is only the first of December so there is a long way to go, but we expect all of our players to be ready for round one," he said.

"We know that over the course of the pre-season that various challenges happen, injuries or whatever, but we expect Lance to be available at this point."


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