Kevin Sheedy would have no qualms about playing any of Sydney's injured premiership stars in the finals despite their lack of match practice, as it emerged Adam Goodes was unlikely to return before September.
Goodes, expected to resume full training next week, remains listed as one to two weeks away from playing, the same time given to Lewis Roberts-Thomson.
Roberts-Thomson has already been ruled out by coach John Longmire as having any chance of returning for the home-and-away season.
Lewis Jetta and Sam Reid are outside hopes of facing Hawthorn next week after being given the all clear to train with the reserves this weekend.
Jetta has not played since early June, and Reid has played one game since late May. Goodes would not have played a game in 11 weeks if he was to have a first-up run in the finals. But Sheedy said he would be prepared to punt on them being able to contribute to the Swans' premiership defence if passed fit.
''It wouldn't worry me putting superstars in the team, they're all very good players, they'd pick themselves normally,'' Sheedy said. ''Whether you play the two or three that's something John Longmire has got up his sleeve. That's the art of coaching, the art of selection.''
The Swans' situation is not foreign to four-time premiership coach Sheedy, who in 1985 at Essendon recalled Paul Salmon and Bill Duckworth after long lay-offs on the eve of the finals. Duckworth had missed nearly five months with injury before coming back in round 20, and Salmon returned in round 22. Both made significant contributions to the Bombers' flag.
''It can work out for you if you do it right and build up. It's important they get a good base of training while they're out,'' Sheedy said.
''If you've got a second final the last three games and the first final is really like a pre-season series for them … I told Salmon and Duckworth they'd be in the team earlier. They all knew they'd be selected, they're very good players and they didn't let us down in the grand final.''
The Swans' injury list is the greatest concern the club faces heading into its 10th finals series in 11 years. Sheedy believed the battle for the flag was a race of four teams and described Fremantle as the ''dark horse'', but said the Swans' tough run into September, featuring games against Geelong and Hawthorn, would leave them well placed for a crack at back-to-back titles.
''The Swans have got a great chance, I think the four teams up top will stay there,'' he said. ''The Swans have got a decent run in. They're going to be hardened after the next two games. That's a bit of a break for them because they're going to test themselves before they get into the heat of the fire in September. They'll go well.''