AFL: Sydney Swans leave Sam Reid out for for clash against GWS Giants

On the run: Sydney’s Sam Reid training at Sydney Cricket Ground. Photo: Ryan PierseSydney are sticking with the patient approach with injured forward Sam Reid, who will have to wait another week for his senior recall. And Ryan Griffen is in the frame to return for the Sydney derby after almost seven weeks out.

While Reid’s namesake makes his stunning comeback for GWS, the Swans’ premiership forward will be lining up in the seconds as he builds to his impending return.

It will be Reid’s third game at any level this year after a series of hamstring problems that started in last year’s finals series.

There will be at least one change to the Swans team with youngster George Hewett ruled out due to concussion. He will be replaced by Callum Mills, who was rested from last week’s waterlogged match against Gold Coast.

The Swans’ expanded squad of 25 also includes Aliir Aliir, Dean Towers and Toby Nankervis. The Giants have already confirmed their Sam Reid will play his first game since 2013 and have also named Griffen, who has not played since round five because of a back injury, and ruckman Tom Downie on an extended bench.

The Giants are desperate for a win after losing their past two on the road in Adelaide and Geelong. Another defeat to the Swans would leave them further behind the top four and under pressure to keep their place in the eight.

“We don’t want to lose three in a row any day of the week, so the stakes are huge for us,” Giants’ Heath Shaw said. “We want to keep in touch with that top four. We need to win against quality opposition and our last three weeks have been against quality opposition and we’ve done OK. But we haven’t got three wins, so we need to lift our game this week and perform on the big stage.”

The silver lining for the Giants from the past fortnight is they have been able to minimise the damage despite being well below their best. “In previous years we would have lost by 40 or 50 points, but we ground it out,” Shaw said. “This group has matured in probably six months massively and the way we go about our footy, we go into every game thinking we’re going to win.”

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