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Hannebery races the clock

Michael Rogers  March 7, 2018 7:29 AM

Dan Hannebery in action at training for the Sydney Swans.

Dan Hannebery in action at training for the Sydney Swans.

Star Sydney midfielder Dan Hannebery admits he needs everything to go right over the next three weeks if he is to be a chance of playing in Round 1.

Hannebery trained with the main group on Monday for the first time all pre-season after recovering from groin and calf problems that have slowed his summer.

The 27-year-old was plagued by groin issues during the second half of 2018 and built his pre-season training slowly as a result.

However, the calf injury sustained in January has left the prolific on-baller a "touch-and-go" prospect, according to coach John Longmire, for the Swans' trip to Perth's new Optus Stadium to take on West Coast in their season opener.

Hannebery agreed with his coach's assessment on Monday evening.

"Ideally you play round one, that's the goal, but the reality is I haven't done a lot at training," he told SEN radio.

"It'll probably come down to the coaching and medical staff. No doubt I'll be putting my hand up but whether they think I have done enough training will be up to them.

"The reality is, we have got to see how I go in the next few sessions. If I am struggling a bit, then I probably have to take a bit longer."

The Swans will be reluctant to risk a repeat of their slow 2017 start, when several key players including Kieren Jack, Jarrad McVeigh and Isaac Heeney struggled to have their usual impact after interrupted preparations.

Despite his absence from full training for much of the summer, Hannebery hasn't given up on pushing to take his place against the Eagles but conceded he couldn't afford to look that far ahead.

"I've got a fair bit to go right for me," he admitted.

"The next two or three weeks shapes as a pretty important time for me to try and get some heavy training in and get myself as prepared as I can for the season," he said.  

"Obviously you hope to play as soon as you can, but the reality is where I have come from with the calf and having not done a lot of training, I'm sort of more looking at it session by session."