Lance Franklin has barely trained all year and is battling a lingering injury but Sydney coach John Longmire insists the superstar forward will play out the AFL season.
A week after being held goalless during Sydney's shock loss to Gold Coast, Franklin visibly struggled on Friday night as Essendon downed the Swans by 43 points.
Franklin was towelled up by best-afield Michael Hurley in the first half and had little impact on the game despite booting two third-quarter majors.
The 31-year-old missed three games after suffered a bruised heel during round one and has also battled knee soreness, despite sitting second in the Coleman Medal count with 44 goals.
Longmire on Friday night revealed Franklin had "probably trained for about 20 minutes for the season", adding that there were no plans to rest the spearhead.
"One week won't do it," Longmire said.
"His ability to get himself up and compete has been brilliant when you consider what he does during the week but we can't change that.
"It's like some of the younger kids, you can't change that either if they're getting a bit sore ... we can't give Tommy McCartin a rest or Lance a rest every week or any of those guys.
"We need to make sure that we control the things we can control which is the contest part of it. We need to get that part of the game right."
Longmire earlier lauded Franklin's ability to play through pain.
"He plays with duress most weeks ... he's an amazing individual the way he's able to do it after getting injured in round one," Longmire told AFL Nation.
"He's such a massive competitor, he plays with a number of challenges every week and is able to get up most weeks and contribute.
"The younger forwards don't get a lot of time to spend with him during the week and that's just the way it goes."
A seven-time All-Australian and four-time Coleman Medallist, Franklin sits ninth on the list of VFL/AFL goal-kickers with 904 majors.