Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley expects injured veteran Hamish Hartlett to return to the Port Adelaide side next week.
Hartlett, who sustained a torn ACL in the early rounds of the 2018 season, has been edging closer to a return, and the Power coach says that all signs point to his introduction to the senior team not being too far away.
“He’s going pretty good. He’s had a strong week of training,” Hinkley told SEN SA Breakfast.
“I don’t think he’ll play because we play Thursday night in the Magpies this week so he’ll miss this week and he’ll be right to play next week.
“We probably could pick him this week, but I don’t want to take the risk to be honest and I want to make sure he’s 100 per cent right and get him back in the position where we want him in the AFL side in the next two or three weeks.”
The dashing defender has been a regular for the Power over the years prior to his season-ending injury last year. The 28-year-old has played 153 games over his 11 seasons at Alberton.
Hartlett will be a welcome addition to the Port Adelaide lineup, who will be looking to bounce back following two consecutive losses.
They play West Coast this weekend, who have had some dramatic wins over the Power in the last couple of years, notably the 2017 elimination final.
Hinkley is confident that the Power will compete strongly against the reigning premiers and give them a real contest.
“They’re going pretty good. They’ve beaten Collingwood in Melbourne. They’re in good nick,” he said.
“They’re a significant challenge and we’ve got this incredible recent history against West Coast and unfortunately for us we’ve been on the receiving end of a couple of after-the-siren results.
“We know we’ll give ourselves a chance and we’ll give them a lot to worry about.”