Lance Franklin has been encouraged to drop weight to prolong his AFL career following the Sydney superstar’s latest injury setback.
The veteran Swans forward could miss more than half the season after damaging his right hamstring during training on Wednesday.
Andrew Russell, Hawthorn’s high performance boss during Franklin’s entire nine-year stint at the Hawks, believes altering the 33-year-old’s training program can reap rewards.
Franklin’s Hawthorn premiership teammates Shaun Burgoyne, Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis are just some beneficiaries of trimming down later in their careers.
“If I was talking to ‘Bud’ (Franklin), and I will reach out to ‘Bud’, I will be trying to get him to drop weight,” Russell, who now runs Carlton’s fitness program, told Fox Footy.
“I don’t know what he’s doing in his program now … but his mobility and flexibility program and trying to drop weight would be the things I would be focusing on.
“The biggest thing that a lot of guys do that prolongs their career is actually getting lighter.
“The reality is it helps them; less load on their joints and soft-tissue structures.
“(Franklin’s) just got to get back to consistent training before he can even think about playing footy.
“Athletically, he’s unbelievably special. What I saw him do I’ve never seen anyone in the game come close to on the training track.”
Franklin sat out nine matches in 2019 due to ongoing issues with his left hamstring.
The eight-time All-Australian will not be able to resume running for up to four weeks, with the Swans saying his latest injury is worse than the one he dealt with in 2019.
He needs 56 more goals to join Tony Lockett, Gordon Coventry, Jason Dunstall, Doug Wade and Gary Ablett senior by becoming the sixth player in VFL/AFL history to reach the magical 1000-goal mark.