Gold Coast key forward Charlie Dixon — will have limited chances to establish his routine in the Power attack after knee surgery on Tuesday morning.
The injury — a minor tear to cartilage in his left knee — is a result of pain after training at Alberton on Monday rather than from his well-publicised fall at practice last month.
Port Adelaide is still aiming to get Dixon into its line-up late into the three-game NAB Challenge pre-season and confidently is predicting the giant forward will be part of the Power’s AFL premiership season-opener against St Kilda at Adelaide Oval during the Easter long weekend late next month.
But there is no masking the setback hurts both Dixon’s readiness to work to a new midfield supply — and to coach Ken Hinkley’s need to find understanding in a new-look attack this season.
Power fitness coach Darren Burgess last night issued a statement emphasising the quick verdict on having surgery to repair Dixon’s left meniscus was based on ensuring the imposing go-to forward is part of Port Adelaide’s campaign from the start of the premiership season.
“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.
“It was in his best interests to get it tidied up now, rather than risk further damage when the season starts.
“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 (Saturday, March 27).
Burgess explained Dixon had managed his way through the full training drills at Alberton on Monday, “but (he) felt sore when he came off the track and we opted to get it scanned.”
Dixon joined the Power in the October trade period with a record of injury-interrupted football in his five seasons at the Gold Coast where he played 65 AFL games.