PORT Adelaide’s ace ruckman Paddy Ryder has suffered a fractured cheekbone in a 21-point AFL pre-season win over North Melbourne.
But coach Ken Hinkley expects Ryder to play in the premiership season opener despite being hurt in Saturday afternoon’s 19.9 (123) to 16.6 (102) victory at Alberton Oval.
The All Australian suffered a depressed fracture in his right cheekbone in a clash of heads with teammate Robbie Gray as the pair bent to contest a loose ball.
“He is okay,” Hinkley said of Ryder.
“It’s quite simple. It sounds a bit cold, but they (surgeons) will just flick that (depression) out.
“And I’d say, realistically, he’s a more than good chance to play round one.”
Port also lost second-year backman Jarrod Lienert to a knee injury. He will have scans on suspected medial ligament damage and is expected to miss two to four weeks.
The Power’s Todd Marshall can expect match review panel scrutiny for a high bump on North’s Sam Wright.
Marshall’s late hip-and-shoulder stunned Wright, who was assisted by trainers from the ground and spent the mandatory 20-minute spell on the bench under the concussion protocol before returning.
And Port’s untested 2017 draftee Jake Patmore will miss the season – he will have knee reconstruction surgery after being injured on Friday night in a state league trial.
The incidents took some gloss off Saturday’s powerhouse performance from Port’s Tom Rockliff, who gathered 42 disposals and kicked two goals.
The former Brisbane captain, entering his second season at Port, also took 17 marks and teammates Travis Boak (27 touches) and Darcy Byrne-Jones (25 disposals) were prominent.
Impressive draftee Zak Butters surely sealed his selection for the start of the premiership season with three goals, while five Power players kicked two majors – Robbie Gray, ruck recruit Scott Lycett, Justin Westhoff, Rockliff and Byrne- Jones.
The Kangaroos, who enter the premiership season without a win from their two trial games, will assess a calf injury to Marley Williams while Wright has also reported tightness in a thigh.
North recruit Jared Polec, playing against his former club for the first time, was influential with 25 disposals and a goal – a 45-metre shot from inside the boundary, in front of a jeering grandstand.
First-year draftee Bailey Scott enhanced his claims for round one with two goals among 21 touches, Shaun Higgins (28 possessions, two goals) was influential and Paul Ahern (21 disposals) booted three goals.
© AAP 2019
PORT ADELAIDE 7.1 12.4 15.8 19.9 (123)
NORTH MELBOURNE 7.2 10.4 12.5 16.6 (102)
Goals: Port Adelaide: Z Butters 3 D Byrne-Jones 2 J Westhoff 2 R Gray 2 S Lycett 2 T Rockliff 2 J Watts K Amon S Motlop S Powell-Pepper T Boak T Marshall. North Melbourne: P Ahern 3 B Scott 2 J Ziebell 2 K Turner 2 S Higgins 2 A Hall B Brown J Polec M Wood T Campbell.
Umpires: Robert Findlay, Jacob Mollison, Nathan Williamson.
Official Crowd: 6,271 at Alberton Oval.