Swans hopeful on Bradshaw's fitness - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans hopeful on Bradshaw's fitness

Adrian Warren 10/03/2011 07:43:32 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire remains optimistic veteran forward Daniel Bradshaw will be fit for the opening round of the AFL season.

Longmire also revealed new recruit Andrejs Everitt is almost certain to get a start in their season-opener against Melbourne.

Full forward Bradshaw hasn't played a pre-season game due to a knee issue and pulled up at training this week with knee soreness.

The 32-year-old former Brisbane star played just nine games in his first season with Sydney in 2010.

The Swans' handling of him is starting to resemble his predecessor Michael O'Loughlin, who was also nursed through the latter stages of his career with a knee problem.

Bradshaw wasn't included in the Sydney side for their final trial against St Kilda in Coffs Harbour on Saturday.

"If Braddy is able to get a couple of good weeks of training under his belt, he will certainly be in round one," Longmire told reporters on Thursday.

He pointed out the Swans had a number of other forward options, however, should Bradshaw not be fit for the March 27 clash with the Demons at the MCG.

"He pulled up well yesterday and today and we are confident that he will be available," Longmire said of Bradshaw.

"You are always planning (forward options) whether that be Jesse White playing forward or Mark Seaby playing forward and we've seen Sam Reid over the last three weeks play forward, along with Adam Goodes."

Veteran defender Craig Bolton and half back Nick Malceski are the only senior players currently ruled out for round one, though three other defenders, Tadhg Kennelly, Lewis Roberts-Thomson and recruit Matt Spangher, have yet to play in the pre-season.

Everitt, who turns 22 on Sunday, has been pencilled in for a spot in the back six after impressing through the pre-season.

After playing 36 senior games for the Bulldogs, Everitt landed in Sydney as part of a trade which sent forward Patrick Veszpremi in the other direction.

"We are really fortunate that he has been able to get some good game time the last few weeks and hopefully he has another good hitout this week," Longmire said of Everitt.

"I'm sure he'll be right in amongst it in that back six come round one, because he hasn't done much wrong and he's been slowly getting more confident and the players around him have been getting used to playing with him, which is very important."

Longmire said the backline injuries had enabled youngsters like Everitt, Gary Rohan and Byron Sumner to take advantage of opportunities.

Ruckman and former Canadian Test rugby winger Mike Pyke was left out of the 24 to face St Kilda.

Longmire said it was hard to squeeze three ruckmen into his squad and he had experimented with Seaby up forward and Shane Mumford down back.

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