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Another setback for sidelined Tippett, but stars escape heavy sanction

Football

A long-standing ankle injury will ensure Sydney ruckman Kurt Tippett spends at least another week in AFL exile.

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Tippett’s patchy form meant he played no part in the Swans’ recent wins over the Western Bulldogs and Richmond.

The axed 30-year-old’s hopes of a recall for the club’s crunch clash with Essendon at the SCG on Friday night are already over.

Tippett pulled up sore yesterday after a second game in the seconds, with coach John Longmire confirming the out-of-favour big man will not face the Bombers.

“It’s just been getting a little bit worse and worse,” Longmire said of Tippett’s ankle injury.

“He’s had it for a couple of weeks. It’s been grumbling along but it got a bit worse.

“We’ve got to make sure we get him right so he can play.”

Tippett is in the midst of his fifth season with Sydney but has only played 70 games for the Swans, a product of a series of setbacks that include an 11-game suspension for his role in Adelaide’s salary cap breaches.

Longmire backed Tippett, who joined the Swans on a lucrative multi-million deal in 2012, to fight his way out of his rut.

“That’s what AFL footy is about. You go through those patches when that happens and it’s just about showing the resilience to bounce back,”Longmire said.

“I’m sure he will. He’s a really resilient character.”

The Swans’ finals hopes appeared over during a miserable 0-6 start to the year but they’ve since banked five wins from six games.

Remarkably, Longmire’s men could be in the top eight at the end of round 14 if they defeat Essendon and other results go their way.

“We know we’ve got very little room for error,” Longmire said of his 12th-placed team’s finals hopes.

They received another boost when star forward Lance Franklin avoided AFL suspension for his bump on Richmond opponent Connor Menadue – although emerging talent Zak Jones is facing a week on the sidelines.

Franklin is among four key players who are set to accept $1000 fines for well-publicised incidents over the weekend.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood, St Kilda veteran Nick Riewoldt and West Coast onballer Luke Shuey also were sweating on their match review panel findings.

And Alex Rance has escaped sanction, after Franklin pushed him in the chest and the Richmond defender won a free kick when he fell to the ground.

“It was the view of the panel, as per the MRP’s guidelines, that any exaggeration of the contact that was made to Rance was not excessive,” the panel ruled.

Meanwhile, North Melbourne Lindsay Thomas has accepted another VFL suspension.

Thomas took a one-game ban after his first game back from a three-match suspension in the reserves.

The Kangaroos goalsneak has not played in the AFL since round five.

After a busy Monday, the MRP offered Gold Coast’s Matt Rosa and Swans onballer Zak Jones one-game suspensions for striking.

West Coast veteran Sam Mitchell, Carlton utility Dale Thomas and Richmond key forward Jack Riewoldt were cleared of their incidents.

Franklin was in trouble for his front-on contact with Menadue, but it was ruled as careless and low impact.

Selwood was also charged with rough conduct after falling on top of Mitchell.

The Eagles star immediately took a swing at Selwood, but the MRP decided Mitchell’s retaliation did not warrant a penalty.

Shuey is free to play in Saturday night’s big home game against Melbourne after he was fined for bumping Geelong star Patrick Dangerfield.

Riewoldt can accept a fine for striking North Melbourne defender Scott Thompson to the back, in retaliation for an elbow to the midriff.

Jones was offered a one-game ban for striking young Tigers forward Dan Butler and Rosa is set to sit out next weekend for striking Thomas.

The MRP cleared Thomas for his bump on Adam Saad.

Western Bulldogs forward Jake Stringer and Melbourne defender Neville Jetta were fined for wrestling.

-AAP

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