Lance Franklin is racing the clock to be ready for round one next weekend but Sydney captain Luke Parker backed the superstar forward to make the call on his own availability.
The Swans' match-winner has stepped up training in the past fortnight but is no certainty to face the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night.
Franklin did not feature in the JLT Series in the preseason after undergoing groin surgery in November but showed last year he could play at a high level with little training when he kicked 57 goals in 19 games and was named All Australian captain despite being injured in round one.
The Swans, however, will also be wary of taking any risks with Franklin so early in the season with football manager Charlie Gardiner saying last month he would "play when he is ready to play".
Franklin, who was awarded life membership of the AFL on Thursday, carried an injury into last year's elimination final and had zero impact as the Swans were thumped by Greater Western Sydney.
The difference here is Franklin is not hurt with the question being whether he clocked enough miles in his legs purely from training to be ready.
"He's confident in himself. Me saying he'll play will put a bit of pressure on him," Parker said.
"He's eyed round one, had a big training load the last two weeks. He's an incredible player. A lot of experience, knows his body, if he says he will be right you have to trust him."
Sydney won two of the four games that Franklin missed last year.
, beating finalists Hawthorn and Geelong and losing narrowly to the Hawks and North Melbourne.
When he did play there was a heavy reliance on him to lead an inexperienced forward line. The Swans ranked 12th for points scored last year and were the lowest scoring of the eight finalists.
The Swans acknowledged at the end of last year they needed to overhaul their forward set up.
The return of premiership-winning forward Sam Reid, 27, who was limited to one game last year, will give the Swans another experienced marking target inside 50.
Ruckman Callum Sinclair is also set for more time forward, especially against the Bulldogs if Franklin does not play, while prized recruit Nick Blakey is set to cut his teeth in attack in his debut season.