Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has all but confirmed captain Ollie Wines will return to AFL action this weekend against Geelong.
Wines hasn’t played senior football since a 39-point Round 7 loss to Collingwood due to an ankle injury but in returning through Port’s SANFL outfit, Hinkley says the time appears right for the skipper.
“I’m going to have trouble keeping him out this week,” Hinkley joked during his appearance on SEN SA Breakfast Tuesday morning.
“He’s had an outstanding couple of games and good on him for being the captain of the club and being able to go back to the Magpies to play some really good footy.”
It appeared, at least given the opposition in front of him, that Wines was very much a class above as he gathered 38 disposals in a comfortable 45-point victory for the Port Adelaide Magpies over Norwood last weekend.
He’d been performing highly prior to his injury as well, cut down by the ankle concern after averaging 25.6 disposals and 6.2 clearances through the five games he’s managed in 2019.
His injury certainly allowed Tom Rockliff to shine brighter in the meantime, although he too was eventually resigned to the medical table three weeks ago with a hamstring injury.
Hinkley provided updates on Rockliff as well as Brad Ebert ahead of their home clash with the Cats on Saturday night, who has been sidelined with concussion.
“I think (Rockliff) will miss,” he said.
“We talked last week, let’s just knock this on the head once and for all and make sure we absolutely get him ready to go and don’t rush it.”
As for veteran Ebert, Hinkley added: “Brad’s a quality player, it’s about whether he’s ready to play and now he’s ready to play.
“I think we just needed to do the right thing by his confidence and give him the opportunity to play a game of football (in the SANFL).”