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Franklin, Jack fit for AFL rd 1: Swans

Sydney star forward Lance Franklin and co-captain Kieren Jack will both be fit for the AFL opening round despite injuries which had them taken to hospital, says Swans general manager Tom Harley.

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Franklin sustained a heavy concussion when knocked unconscious in a collision with teammate Gary Rohan just minutes into the Swans’ pre-season win over Greater Western in Canberra on Sunday.

Jack suffered an abdominal injury and was taken to hospital along with Franklin, who was also cleared of any cheekbone fracture.

Harley said on Monday both 2014 Coleman Medallist Franklin and Jack would be fit to play in the Swans’ campaign opener against Essendon on April 4.

“Buddy’s good. He went to hospital purely for precautionary reasons,” Harley said.

“He had a good night’s sleep. It is a heavy concussion but he’ll be fine.

“There’s no facial injuries whatsoever. It’s standard concussion… not having a game this week he’ll have plenty of time to recover and be ready for round one.”

Jack, who suffered his injury in a rolling tackle with Giants forward Devon Smith, will also have enough time to recover in time for the opening round.

“Kieren’s was a knock to the oblique. He has some bleeding through there,” Harley said.

“He’ll be sore but he’s had a flawless pre-season so we don’t expect anything to put him off course and expect him to get up for round one as well.

“You don’t expect to have two hospital visits… But we got through that and Lance and Kieren will rest up and will be fine to go.”

Key forward Kurt Tippett, who was ruled out of the AFL pre-season after suffering a lower leg injury in an intraclub game early this month, remains on track to be fit in time for round one.

“He’s tracking as planned. He’s ramped up his running,” Harley said.

“There haven’t been any hiccups to suggest he won’t be ready for round one.”

Jarrad McVeigh (minor calf strain) and Ben McGlynn (hip), who both had a limited pre-season, are also set to be available for the Essendon opener.

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