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Sparse injury list gives Port a welcome dilemma

Football

Port Adelaide captain Travis Boak wouldn't want to be his coach Ken Hinkley.

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Ahead of Saturday night’s top-of-the-table AFL game against Adelaide, Boak says his coach has some selection headaches.

The ladder-leading Power have just one player on the injury list, goalsneak Angus Monfries who will miss at least the next three weeks because of a hamstring strain.

So Boak reckons Hinkley will have a hard time picking a side to play the second-placed Crows.

Defender Hamish Hartlett will return from illness, fellow backman Jasper Pittard is pressing for selection after overcoming a hamstring strain.

And another defender, Nathan Krakouer, is pushing for a berth after being suspended for the season-opener.

Krakoeur has been tasked with standing Adelaide’s mercurial forward Eddie Betts in Showdowns past.

“He (Betts) has probably been pretty good against us in a lot of the Showdowns and against any side lately – he’s on fire,” Boak said.

“For us it’s going to be about our midfield battle… and really keep it away from it, it will certainly go a long way to stopping him.

“(Krakouer) has shown he can do it in the past and I guess that will be talked about during the week, there’s no doubt, in selection – if Krak comes in and does that role.”

Boak said whether Pittard, who was injured in Port’s initial pre-season game, returned in AFL ranks was another issue for Hinkley to ponder.

“That will be up to Kenny… it will be a tough call,” Boak said.

“We haven’t got too many injuries which is always great … it puts a lot of pressure on our senior group – and that is what you want from any good club.

“Training is really hot when you have got positions up for grabs and guys in really good form.

“It’s a great position to be in, no doubt, and it’s going to be a tough call again for Kenny this week with a couple of guys putting their hand up.”

Meanwhile, Hawthorn defender Ryan Burton’s classy shutdown role on Adelaide spearhead Taylor Walker has earned him an AFL Rising Star nomination.

The 20-year-old was a shining light for the Hawks during Saturday’s clash at the MCG, gathering 26 disposals and nine marks while also helping to subdue Crows’ skipper Walker.

“Young Burto had a pretty big task playing on ‘Tex’ Walker,” Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said after the game.

“We’re really pleased with the way he acquitted himself over the course of the game.”

After playing four games in his debut season last year, Burton appears set to cement his spot in the Hawks’ backline.

The North Adelaide product was Hawthorn’s top draft pick – No.19 overall – in the 2015 draft.

-AAP

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