Fraser will bounce back strong: Swan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fraser will bounce back strong: Swan

By Sam Lienert 25/06/2010 04:45:40 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood midfielder Dane Swan believes ruckman Josh Fraser still has a big role to play this season, despite being dropped for Saturday night's match against Sydney.

The 28-year-old had been due to play his 200th AFL game against the Swans at ANZ Stadium, but the Magpies preferred to go with Darren Jolly as their sole genuine ruckman.

It is the first time since recruiting Jolly from the Swans this season they have gone down that path.

Fraser partnered Jolly for the first six rounds, before going out with a knee injury, missing four matches, although one of those he spent in the VFL.

Cameron Wood filled in, but the 23-year-old former Brisbane big man also failed to impress, allowing Fraser to return against the Western Bulldogs in round 11.

The Magpies' decision to drop Fraser just two rounds later and not recall Wood suggests neither is making a convincing case to be Jolly's main support act.

However, Swan predicted Fraser, the AFL's top draft pick of 1999, had the quality to bounce back strongly.

"He's been around long enough to realise we think he's in our best side when he's up and going, so he just needs to go back, get a bit of form and fitness back there (in the VFL)," Swan said.

"I'm sure when he's ready to go, he'll come back into the side and hopefully play an important part in the last half of the year."

He dismissed suggestions that Fraser's career was at a critical point.

"I don't think the next three or four weeks are going to define Josh's career by any extent," he said.

"I'm sure he's got a big role to play here over the next few years, so hopefully he gets back into the side when he's good to go and shows everyone how good he can be."

Swan said forecast wet weather in Sydney might have been partly behind the Magpies' decision to go with just one ruckman.

Meanwhile, the hard-running midfielder suggested the AFL look at introducing multiple byes during the season.

While the league appears to be moving towards an interchange cap to rein in a growing injury rate, Swan said more breaks would also help.

"That also helps recover your body and then you're refreshed, you're not going into the next seven or eight games sore," Swan said.

"As a midfielder that runs pretty hard in the midfield all the time, I really like the bye and wish we had one or two more."

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