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Injury setback for Port's marquee recruit

Football

The question-marks over the durability of Port Adelaide’s pivotal signing Charlie Dixon will be intensified, with the key forward set to spend the bulk of the pre-season on the sidelines after knee surgery.

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The Power last night released a statement declaring the Gold Coast import – who cost them a first and future second round draft pick and a reported $3.5 million over five years – will spend the next “four to six weeks in recovery… after causing minor damage to his left meniscus at training on Monday”.

Dixon had surgery yesterday, with Port’s high performance manager Darren Burgess confident he should recover quickly.

“His operation was pretty straightforward and we’ll be able to get him through his rehab by the end of the NAB Challenge,” Burgess said in a club statement.

“He actually got through the whole session yesterday, but felt sore when he came off the track and we opted to get it scanned.”

That scan suggested “it was in his best interests to get it tidied up now, rather than risk further damage when the season starts”.

The 25-year-old has been dogged by persistent injuries throughout his career. He has never managed more than 16 games in a single season, which he achieved last year. But the absence of suspended former Bomber Paddy Ryder this year will make the strong-marking and potentially versatile tall ever more important to Port’s finals aspirations.

“He should be available for the NAB Challenge at some point, but our priority is obviously about making sure he’s ready to go for Round 1,” Burgess said.

The NAB Challenge was officially launched yesterday at a soaked Unley Oval. The Power kick off their pre-season campaign on February 20 against Sydney at Blacktown International Sportspark in NSW.

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