PORT Adelaide defender Nathan Krakouer is likely to miss the rest of the NAB Challenge after straining a hamstring at training last week.
The smooth-moving half back flanker had been training well this summer, making progress in redeveloping his fitness base.
The setback will sideline him through the rest of the NAB Challenge but the club hopes he will be fit for round one.
“It’s really disappointing for 'Krak', because he was looking good to play this week with the rest of the blokes," high performance manger Darren Burgess told the club's website.
“It’s just one of those things that happens sometimes, unfortunately it means a month on the sidelines.
“We’re hoping he’ll be good by Easter – which means round 1.”
Krakouer's teammate Sam Gray agreed it was a blow for the defender but he remained confident he'd return in fine shape.
Gray predicted Krakouer to play a key role in the Power's 2016 hopes once he regained fitness.
"Krak's had a pretty good pre-season and for that to happen…it's really disappointing," Gray said.
"But Krak will do the right stuff in rehab and I'm sure he'll be back in a few weeks.
"His kicking and his decision making's one of the best I've seen so he's really important for us to go forward."
Gray was Port's best against the Sydney Swans last Saturday, collecting a team-high 21 possessions and laying five tackles.
The 24-year-old is blessed with pure football smarts and so has no issue finding the ball when given the opportunity.
He averaged 35 touches a game in the final three matches last year and while Port's midfield is tough to crack into, Gray insisted he believed he could develop into a first-choice midfielder.
"Eventually I'd love to do that," he said.
"But I'm just happy to play my role and if that's with the Magpies in the SANFL then that's how it is – but I'd love to be able to cement my spot eventually.
"Kenny's (Hinkley) sort of said just stay on the edge, that's how I play my best footy…play tough footy and it'll eventually all pan out.
"I'm in the best condition I've been, which I needed to come back in, so that'll help me out."