ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Zak Butters of the Power celebrate their win during the 2021 AFL Round 04 match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Richmond Tigers at Adelaide Oval on April 09, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Port Adelaide young gun Zak Butters will miss the next 4-5 weeks with a knee injury after making his return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines on Thursday night.

Butters landed awkwardly in the Power's loss to Melbourne and sustained an injury to his knee, with the rising youngster confirmed to miss the next month.

The promising starlet had just returned from three months out with an ankle syndesmosis setback that required surgery in May. Butters was subbed out at three-quarter-time with the MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain.

The incident occurred during the third quarter, with Butters taking an intercept mark but suffering the injury upon landing.

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The young gun tried bravely to carry on, having his knee taped up and jogging along the boundary line. He attempted to change directions several times and didn't look comfortable, with the Power opting for the cautious approach.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley said the club would hold off any further decisions on Butters until the scan results came back.

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It's been a frustrating season for Butters, a player who was named in the extended 40-man All-Australian squad last season.

This season he's suffered multiple injuries that have stalled his progress after a strong start to the year. Hinkley was sympathetic towards the youngster, saying: "sometimes when you have a bad run... it goes against you."

"You get back, you're excited about getting back and then all of a sudden, first game back, something else happens." he continued.

After returning from the syndesmosis injury a week ahead of schedule, Butters and Port had hoped to get their respective seasons back on track, however this latest setback could prove crucial.

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With the Power now missing Butters, Robbie Gray (knee) and Orazio Fantasia (knee), they are very light on personnel in the small forwards department, not that Hinkley is concerned.

"I don't think that it'll be too much to worry about" he said.

Time will tell if the Power can bounce back from this latest blow.