Lance Franklin's setback hasn't affected his leadership at Sydney, where a hamstring injury to Sam Reid has given the AFL club plenty to think about regarding their likely forward line for round one.
Franklin, who underwent knee surgery in January, has resumed running as he attempts to prove his fitness before the start of the season.
Fellow key forwards Reid and Tom McCartin (hamstring) have also recently been on the sidelines, as has Isaac Heeney (broken thumb) who is another potential target in attack.
McCartin trained well on Monday but coach John Longmire admits Reid, who has been restricted by various niggles this pre-season, is still several weeks away from playing.
In a sign of what could be to come in the season proper, small forwards Tom Papley, Lewis Taylor, Sam Gray and Ben Ronke have all been training in the same forward line during recent weeks.
Franklin's return remains unclear but Longmire is adamant the Swans, who open their season with an away match against Adelaide on March 21, "will not make any decisions based on round one".
"He is getting some strength back into his legs. It'll just depend on his progression," Longmire told AAP.
"We don't want him going in short.
"He needs some training to be able to be physically strong enough to get through AFL games and get through a season."
Franklin, a long-time informal mentor of Sydney's forwards, joined the club's leadership group for 2020.
Longmire praised the four-time Coleman medallist for maintaining a strong influence on teammates during a personally frustrating stretch, which comes after arguably his most promising start to pre-season training since he joined the Swans in 2013.
"He contributes really well. He's in here very early and trains really hard, does his off legs before meetings," he said.
"He likes to go out on the training track, watch it all and contribute when he can. He's been actively involved.
"He just likes doing it."
The 33-year-old Franklin, who is coming off a season in which he only played 10 games because of recurring hamstring injuries, has three seasons to run on a nine-year deal worth $10 million.
"He's still got a really important role to play for us," Longmire said.
"We saw what he looked like in the last game of 2019, we saw what he was training like before Christmas.
"His best is still pretty good.
"We're confident that Nick Blakey, Tom McCartin and others can learn a lot off him as well."
The Swans and GWS will come together for match simulation at Lakeside Oval on Saturday morning then square off a week later in their first pre-season contest at Blacktown Oval.