Franklin can make miracle recovery: Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Franklin can make miracle recovery: Hawks

By Guy Hand 15/09/2011 05:39:20 PM Comments (0)

The day before Hawthorn's AFL semi-final, there was Lance Franklin - kicking for goal in the left forward pocket at the MCG where he regularly makes miracles happen.

At the same time, his coach Alastair Clarkson was talking up another impending Franklin miracle - the superstar forward would defy a knee injury to play in the Hawks' clash with Sydney on Friday night.

The Hawks have named Franklin in their side to play the Swans, with Clarkson committed to giving the Coleman Medallist until the last possible moment to prove his fitness.

After a solo training session, Franklin then trained with his team-mates at the MCG on Thursday, testing himself with some light kicking drills and goalkicking practice.

It was a far cry from the sickening hyperextension of his knee late in the Hawks' loss to Geelong last week that, to all the world, looked like a 12-month knee reconstruction.

Instead, it turned out to be bone bruising, and Franklin has gone from being no chance to right in the frame, thanks to a positive attitude and extraordinary healing powers, according to Clarkson.

"It's been amazing - for a start, we thought it was a really serious injury like everyone did," Clarkson said.

"He had the scans Saturday morning and we're pleased there was no significant damage there, and his progress over the course of the week has been unbelievable.

"He's got a real positive attitude and that's put him in with some sort of chance to play ... we'll worry about that over the next 24 hours or so, but we're hopeful he's going to get up and play."

But Clarkson's declaration - perhaps made as much in hope as on solid medical grounds - comes with plenty of fine print.

As well as the latest possible decision time, the Hawks will not roll the dice with Franklin if their medical staff suggest there is any chance of long-term injury to their headline act.

"He's gone through a whole series of tests through the week, but one thing we're certain of is that he's not going to go out there if he is under any risk at all," Clarkson said.

"We're hopeful he's going to be (fit), but we're going to run out there with 22 blokes whether Buddy's fit or not.

"If not, we've shown we can win games of footy without Buddy anyway and we'll get on with it against a red-and-white army that's in pretty good nick at the minute."

Sydney coach John Longmire said the Swans were trying not to worry about whether Franklin would play or not, though they admitted to having watched Hawthorn train to check his progress.

"We just saw him run around and have a kick and have a few shots," Longmire said.

"We'll have to wait until the teams are announced and, even then, we won't know really until 90 minutes before the game."

Clarkson has earmarked a four-quarter effort he felt was missing in the loss to Geelong last week as crucial in overcoming a Swans side sure to be geed up for Adam Goodes' 300th AFL game.

"We weren't consistent enough in our application over four quarters last week," he said.

"There were two periods of the game, one at the start of the second quarter and one of the end of the third quarter against the Cats that cost us.

"We'll need to make sure we play four quarters."

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