Port Adelaide midfielder Xavier Duursma has been left "a bit groggy" following a suspected head knock suffered at training this week.
The club's Wednesday match simulation session at Alberton Oval ended early for Duursma following a marking contest, with the 22-year-old needing attention from the club's medical staff.
Left in some dismay as Duursma was left dazed, the club have looked to act quickly with a precautionary approach to treating their young midfielder.
"Obviously, it's precautionary … it could be (a concussion). He looked a bit groggy so we will see how it pans out. We will look after him," Port Adelaide assistant Josh Carr told media on Thursday.
"When you're playing matchplay and it's pretty competitive you put yourself out there as a team to have those sorts of incidents, but (he) looks OK."
While Duursma faces a stint on the sidelines following the ailment, his younger brother and top 2023 draft chance, Zane, has joined Melbourne's pre-season program this week as part of the league's AFL Academy experience program.
Any pre-season setback for the oldest Duursma may further hinder his chances of a Round 1 selection against Brisbane in mid-March, with the South Gippsland product looking to cement his place in Ken Hinkley's side to start the 2023 season.
Both injury and form saw Duursma kept to just 11 matches last year, with midfield spots at Port Adelaide looking even harder to come by this season.
The recruitment of former No.1 pick Jason Horne-Francis, coupled with a top line of Ollie Wines, Travis Boak and Connor Rozee, is sure to further limit Duursma's midfield opportunities for his fifth season with the Power.
Outside midfield spots may be up for grabs following the departure of Karl Amon to Hawthorn, with Zak Butters, Josh Sinn, Sam Powell-Pepper, Willem Drew, Dan Houston and Kane Farrell also adding to Hinkley's midfield options.
All attention has turned to Horne-Francis' first pre-season with the Power since requesting a trade back to South Australia after just one year with North Melbourne, with Port Adelaide fans excited to see what the teenager has to offer.
The powerful midfielder has faced an interrupted pre-season of his own after requiring surgery on both of his knees, but Horne-Francis is beginning to show signs of his potential as he builds his workloads across the coming weeks.
"He's just building. I think each session he's just got better and better and he's able to sustain more running and more physicality out there," Carr said.
"Each session more (of his weapons) come out so it's been enjoyable to watch his progress so far. I could hear the crowd every time he got the ball out there today they got pretty excited by it.
"He's only a second-year player…he's been really open to learning and getting better."
Port Adelaide will open their 2023 season by welcoming Brisbane to Adelaide Oval on Saturday, March 18.