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Swan Heeney rushed back for date with Suns

·2-min read

Isaac Heeney is a shock inclusion for Sydney's clash with Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium, but the AFL club's defence has been further depleted by the enforced omission of Tom McCartin.

Heeney's recall means he has missed just one match with a broken hand.

Earlier in the week, the Swans' chief medico Damian Raper indicated "Isaac is coming along well from his hand fracture, we're hoping he'll be back in one to two weeks".

But the club is now satisfied that Heeney is ready for the rigours of AFL, having called him up alongside fit-again midfielder James Rowbottom plus Kaiden Brand, Callum Sinclair and Hayden McLean.

"The specialist he saw this week gave him the all clear and he's really confident. He feels good, he's trained this week," Longmire said.

"Isaac is an important player. He's hard, competitive and he's a great decision maker."

Lance Franklin and Tom Hickey's enforced omission because of knee injuries they suffered in last week's derby defeat had already been flagged.

The club revealed on Friday that McCartin would also join fellow key defender Dane Rampe on the sidelines because of a tight hamstring.

"McCartin didn't quite get up," Longmire said.

"We felt it was just too much of a risk.

"It's not too bad, so hopefully he will be available next week."

McCartin was set to have the job on young gun Ben King this weekend, but that responsibility will now fall to either Brand or Lewis Melican.

Longmire backed former Hawthorn backman Brand, playing his first game since round two of 2020, and Sinclair to step up in the absence of McCartin and Hickey.

Sinclair and McLean will likely both spend time alongside Heeney in the Swans' rejigged forward line.

"Callum comes into the ruck, he has played a lot of senior footy for us," Longmire said.

"Hayden has played some senior footy for us this year too and they provide different avenues (to goal) for us.

"We are confident in what they can do."

McCartin, who ranks sixth in the league for intercepts across the opening five rounds of 2021, had been a key part of the Swans' impressive start to the season.