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Port's defence exposed by Hombsch injury

Football

Port Adelaide have suffered a significant blow ahead of Saturday night's AFL Showdown, losing defender Jack Hombsch to a knee injury.

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The Power said yesterday that Hombsch hurt his right knee late in Sunday’s win over Fremantle.

The 24-year-old, who had made a strong start to the season, is expected to be out of action for three to four matches.

“He pulled up a bit sore the next day and scans on Tuesday showed some minor medial (ligament) damage,” said Port high performance manager Darren Burgess.

Jackson Trengove is likely to take Hombsch’s place in the backline as the Power seek to nullify the league’s most potent attack. Fellow backman Jasper Pittard (hamstring) also has to pass a fitness test, while midfielder Hamish Hartlett is set to return from illness.

This is the first time that Port and Adelaide are unbeaten and hold the top two spots on the ladder ahead of a Showdown.

The Power have a 21-20 advantage, but the Crows have won the past three cross-town clashes.

The Crows are likely to name key forward Josh Jenkins, but he’s a doubtful starter after he went to hospital last weekend with damaged ribs.

“We’ll give him every opportunity up until the morning of the game,” assistant coach Scott Camporeale told reporters yesterday.

“He’s obviously an important part of our forward line, so we’d be silly to rule him out early… he jogged some laps today, he seemed in a bit better shape, so we’ll take it day by day.”

-AAP

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