Port Adelaide suffers setback as ruck recruit Soldo sustains injury.

Port Adelaide’s ruck recruit Ivan Soldo will be sidelined for at least the next month of the AFL season due to a recurring knee injury.

Soldo will undergo arthroscopic surgery after aggravating a lateral meniscus injury in his left knee last week. As a result, Port Adelaide will now turn to their second ruck recruit, Jordon Sweet, formerly of the Western Bulldogs, for an extended opportunity, starting with the upcoming match against St Kilda at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.

Sweet, who played 11 games for the Bulldogs before returning to South Australia at the end of last season, will take on the ruck duties in a Power side boosted by the return of key forward Charlie Dixon and veteran Travis Boak, who holds the club’s games record.

Despite Port Adelaide’s recent heavy loss to Collingwood, Sweet’s inclusion presents a positive opportunity, according to Port coach Ken Hinkley. Hinkley highlighted Sweet’s dominant performances in lower levels and expressed confidence in his ability to perform consistently at the AFL level.

Regarding Soldo’s injury, Hinkley indicated that the former Richmond ruckman, who had been performing well with an average of 29 hitouts in his first six games for Port, is expected to be sidelined for “four or five weeks.” Emphasizing the importance of managing Soldo’s knee issues, Hinkley stated that addressing the injury now could prevent long-term complications.

As Port Adelaide prepares to face St Kilda, Hinkley acknowledged the challenge posed by the Saints, particularly under the coaching of Ross Lyon. Expecting a defensively disciplined and hard-working opponent, Hinkley emphasized the need for his team to match the intensity and work rate of their opposition.


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