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Mills expected to play after Bugg attack

Football

Sydney expect concussed defender Callum Mills to get up for Saturday's home AFL hit-out against Gold Coast, provided he receives medical blessing after training today.

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The positive news came as coach John Longmire offered reserved support for a red-card system based on Tomas Bugg’s ugly behind-play hit that earned the Melbourne midfielder a six-week ban.

Longmire revealed Mills has been progressing well since Bugg’s nasty left hook to the chin forced him off the MCG turf in the first term last Friday.

Six days after the Swans’ 35-point win, the 20-year-old appeared in good spirits as he trained with the squad, in a sign Longmire may not need to draft in a replacement for the SCG clash that could lift his resurgent side into the top eight.

“At the moment he seems okay, but we don’t know until he’s finished training and we see how he pulls up,” Longmire said this morning.

“He’s progressed really well since Saturday and has felt okay during the week.

“That’s all we can go on at the moment, but the doctor always has the final say.

“At this stage we expect him to be alright.”

Longmire felt Bugg’s punishment at the tribunal “seems about right”, and weighed in on renewed calls for the AFL to introduce a send-off rule for serious incidents.

High-profile names including West Coast and Carlton great Chris Judd and Essendon captain Dyson Heppell are among the growing chorus in favour of such a move, for which one argument is that the victim is forced out of the game thereby putting one team at a disadvantage.

“The first part of the discussion is that we don’t want that to happen in sport,” Longmire said.

“We understand things happen in all teams, off-the-ball ones we’ve got to be mindful of.

“The second part is the performance part. It would be hard to argue, once you’ve seen something like that happen during a game, that you couldn’t argue for a red card.

“There wouldn’t be many sound arguments against it. It’s very rare, though, that those things happen.

“So in that one incident it would be very hard to argue against, but I also understand the other point, which is that it doesn’t happen too often.”

-AAP

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