Sydney captain Callum Mills has backed the Swans' midfield to cover his and teammate Luke Parker's injury absence, with Mills taking the next step in his recovery from a shoulder reconstruction.

Mills, who will enter his first season as Sydney's sole captain, remains focused on a return around the mid-point of the Swans' campaign after surgery on his off-season shoulder injury. 

"It's going well. It's a slow burn but we're on a path and we're really excited by the return. The path is hopefully around mid-season, that's our return goal, and I'm getting strength into it at the moment and enjoying being able to lift and do some stuff," Mills told

"The next little bit is about getting the muscles as strong as possible, so I'm back lifting weights which is nice."

The 26-year-old is entering the next phase of his program as he gets ready for a game day role on the Swans' interchange alongside coach John Longmire.

"I've had the time to process it all and get into my work. I'm really enjoying getting stuck into it. It can be quite bland at times but that's part and parcel of it," he said. 

"I think I'll be on the bench and will be riding shotgun with 'Horse' so I'm looking forward to that. It keeps me involved and I'll be able to help the boys on the bench. I did a little bit of it last year with my calf injury but having a matchday role will be really nice and hopefully I can help as much as possible." 

Luke Parker will miss the start of the season after sustaining a break to his arm in last week's match simulation against GWS. The Swans said a timeframe for his return will be clearer in the coming days. 

"It was a bit of a blow last week but he's as tough as they come. He came off with a bit of a sore arm and when he does that it's 'call the ambulance' kind of stuff because he's a tough character. He's had surgery and should be back into it soon," Mills said.

"I think there's plenty [who could fill the role]. Errol (Gulden) did a lot last year, James Rowbottom, Taylor Adams coming in. We've got a really deep midfield which we're really proud and happy with, so there'll be plenty of guys who can run through there."


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