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Everyone's Getting Behind Buddy Franklin After He Pulled Out Of This Weekend's Final

The Swans star is suffering from a mental health issue.

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Sydney Swans superstar Lance Franklin has pulled out of this weekend's crucial AFL qualifying final against Fremantle due to ongoing mental health issues.

Matt King / Getty Images

In a statement on the club's website, the Swans said Franklin was being treated for an unspecified condition.

"Our first priority is looking after Lance's health," General Manager of Football, Tom Harley said.

"Lance has been open with the club about his condition and while we consider it a private medical matter, he is aware he has our full support.

"The timeframe on his return is unclear at this stage. He will certainly miss this week's match and we will continue to monitor his condition.

But the Swans say they've "wrapped their arms" around Franklin as he recovers.

Matt King / Getty Images

"It's a shock to a lot of the boys … we can just support him as a player group and as a footy club, and that's what we'll do," Swans coach John Longmire said.

"We're right behind him, we support him fully, and footy's the last thing on our minds in regards to his health.

"All the players have spoken about it and we're fully behind him."

Swans co-captain Jarrad McVeigh also spoke in support of his mate's decision to take some time off and said he's confident the Swans can still win on the weekend.

Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

"We know everyone's going to say why we can't win this game of footy, but we're pretty confident in our ability and the way we go about things that our footy will stand up," McVeigh said.

"We've dealt with a few things throughout the year but we're strong enough mentally and a strong enough group to be able to cope with these things.

There's been an outpouring of support for Franklin and the club on social media.

Forza, @Buddy_Franklin. Your mental health comes first. We've got your back.

All strength to him & partner Sydney Swans forward 'Buddy' Franklin 'treated for an ongoing mental health condition' http://t.co/Sv3up0hYDa

Buddy Franklin situation is a big moment for AFL and mental health. Hope everyone handles it with care: http://t.co/wzmJEmkX9g

Get well, Buddy. @Sydneyswans Sad news for Buddy Franklin: Mental health condition rules Swans star out http://t.co/wxTXWPhKIl

Lance Franklin is a star on and off the field. #franklin

Looking after your mental health is paramount. It's good to see major sporting clubs taking this seriously. http://t.co/Q1sUKBX3Bq

And messages on the club's Facebook page have been overwhelmingly supportive

Facebook: sydneyswans

Get well soon Buddy!

Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

Anyone seeking support should contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Rob Stott is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Rob Stott at rob.stott@buzzfeed.com.

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