Hanging tough: Lance Franklin has been cleared of serious injury.LANCE Franklin has been cleared of a serious hamstring injury but Hawthorn’s mercurial forward will only play against Greater Western Sydney next Sunday if he’s feeling ”perfect”.
Franklin came off the field nine minutes into the final term of the Hawks’ 50-point win over Carlton on Friday night, nursing an injury sustained when he sprinted down the wing, miscued a kick and then bent down to scoop up his own ball.
”It just didn’t feel right when he came out of that contest,” coach Alastair Clarkson said.
But a scan of Franklin’s hamstring yesterday morning did not reveal a tear, easing fears that he could miss three weeks of football. He is still in doubt for the next game against GWS and Clarkson said he expected him to train this week in an effort to prove his fitness. ”Given that we had a fair lead at that point in time we didn’t continue to want to test it. We will get that assessed during the course of the week, not in terms of scanning because that’s already been done, but in terms of his ability to stride out and move. If he is not feeling perfect then he won’t play but all indications this morning are that he will ice it up and train over the course of the week,” Clarkson told ABC radio.
”He hasn’t had a lot of soft tissue damage in the past but he has also been such a resilient player in terms of coping with injury. The most significant [example] of that is during last year’s finals series when he hurt that knee against Geelong and then got himself up to play against Sydney and still made a really significant contribution for us.
”He plays tough, he doesn’t like to miss footy and finds a way to get himself up. But we do have to respect these soft tissues. We don’t want him putting himself at too much risk if he’s not quite right.”
Proving the pre-game assessment of Carlton defender Michael Jamison that Franklin is his toughest opponent, the athletic forward kicked four goals, had 23 touches and pumped the ball inside 50 on 10 occasions before he took himself off the ground.
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