ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 29: Paddy Ryder of the Power competes with Billy Longer of the Saints during the 2017 AFL round 19 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the St Kilda Saints at Adelaide Oval on July 29, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has revealed that All Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder will return next week against West Coast.

The dominant big man injured his Achilles in round one and the Power have been soundly bullied in the hitout department since, throwing guys like Charlie Dixon and Justin Westhoff into rucking cameos.

Speaking before his side’s clash with North Melbourne, the Power coach was enlightened by a midweek conversation with his star ruckman.

“We’ve only had Paddy for two quarters of the season, so that’s not much, but he’s tracking really well,” Hinkley told the AFL Nation pregame show.

“He sent me a text, and it was the best news I’ve had all week, and said he was flying.

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“So we’re looking forward to having Paddy back in the side next week.”

Port Adelaide lost Hamish Hartlett to an ACL injury during the week, but Hinkley was proud of how his defender has responded.

“It is a blow, but Hartlett straight away said there’s a lot worse things that go on and so he dealt with it pretty well,” he said.

“He’s a really important part of our leadership, not just as an on-field leader, but off-field as well.

“He’s had surgery and he’s ready to get on with the next phase, but that’s footy.”

Ryder will come up against Eagles star Nic Naitanui next week in a blockbuster ruckmen showdown.

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