Sydney Swans superstar Lance Franklin's future in doubt
THE immediate football future of Sydney Swans superstar Lance Franklin is shrouded in uncertainty after the club revealed the 28-year-old was dealing with an "ongoing mental health condition".
The Swans put out a statement yesterday saying the former Hawk would miss Saturday's qualifying final with Fremantle as he was indefinite leave.
General manager of football Tom Harley said in a statement Franklin was receiving treatment.
"Our first priority is looking after Lance's health," Harley said.
"Lance has been open with the club about his condition and while we consider it a private medical matter, he is aware he has our full support."
Harley said there was no clear timeline for Franklin's return to football.
News Ltd reported Franklin had had a seizure on Saturday but that was not confirmed by the club.
Coach John Longmire said he had spoken to his star player and he was receiving the best possible care and support.
"It's a shock to a lot of the boys. We can just support him as a player group and as a footy club, and that's what we'll do," Longmire said.
"We're right behind him, we support him fully, and footy's the last thing on our minds in regards to his health.
"All the players have spoken about it and we're fully behind him."
Captain Jarrad McVeigh said the team was coping with the news.
"Bud is in a place where he can get the best support at the moment..
"It is a very personal thing and private matter with doctors.
"It is not something you know about until he put his hand up."
Franklin did play in last weekend's defeat of the Gold Coast Suns but has been troubled by a back injury in the past few weeks and was unable to play because of it from rounds 17-21.
Franklin's absence is another blow to the Swans' finals chances with captain Kieren Jack, Luke Parker already ruled out of this week's game, while Gary Rohan and Nick Smith are also struggling for fitness.
The Western Bulldogs have also been cruelled by injury for their elimination final with Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday with defenders Jordan Roughead and Jason Johannisen ruled out.
"They're two big losses," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge conceded.
"(Roughead) ripped a tendon off the bone on one of his fingers against the Kangaroos two weeks ago and he's been sore in another couple of areas.
"He's most likely not to play. We'll lose Jason Johannisen as well, unfortunately. He's got a minor calf injury."