SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: Sam Naismith of the Swans trains during a Sydney Swans AFL training session at Sydney Cricket Ground on July 4, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Former Sydney ruckman Sam Naismith may soon earn himself an AFL lifeline following reports that the 30-year-old is currently in Collingwood's sights ahead of the mid-season draft.

Originally drafted by the Swans with the 59th pick of the 2013 AFL Rookie Draft, Naismith, a product of the North Shore Bombers, was seen as a project player, making just one senior appearance ahead of the 2015 season.

Naismith managed a further 29 games in the red and the white between 2015 and 2020, however, persistent ACL injuries, as well as a failed knee graft, scuppered the New South Welshman's chances at a strong run at senior level, including zero appearances across 2021 and 2022.

Naismith was eventually delisted by the Swans at the cessation of the 2022 season.

Since departing Moore Park, the tattooed tall has linked up with Port Melbourne in the VFL, featuring on seven occasions for the Borough and averaging 14.9 disposals and 40.6 hitouts each week.

Naismith's seasonal high came against the Pies in Round 2 at North Port Oval, flexing his AFL-calibre skillset for 62 hitouts at home.

Speaking on SEN, fellow ex-Swan Gerard Healy claimed that Naismith's name was in the sights of Collingwood selectors, a view confirmed by AFL Media's Josh Gabelich.

Sam Naismith, who spent a long, long time on the list at Sydney Swans and I think had to end up having three knee reconstructions," Healy said.

“He's shooting the lights out from my understanding as a ruckman in the VFL.

“It's (Naismith's suitor) a club that doesn't need a ruckman, which is quite surprising. But I reckon they could do with another ruckman as back up, it's the Pies.

“That's what I was told, but I looked at that and went, ‘Hmm, that would be unusual, but we'll see'.”

At present, the Pies currently have four AFL-blooded ruckmen on their list following the trade period departure of Brodie Grundy, with Mason Cox, Darcy Cameron, Nathan Krueger and Aiden Begg all under Craig McRae's tutelage.

With each of Cox, Cameron, Krueger and Begg and recent recruit Daniel McStay having been forced to the sidelines with injury at stages this season, McRae has been forced to cover bases with backman Billy Frampton and forward Ash Johnson.

However, with Cox fit and firing, Begg back in selection contention and Cameron and Krueger nearing their respective returns, the once-vehement necessity for a big like Naismith has eased.

If Collingwood wishes to select Naismith at the mid-season draft, the club will be required to place a player on the long-term injury list ahead of the May 30 deadline.

The 2023 AFL Mid-Season Draft is set to be held on Wednesday, May 31.