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Surgery rules Port defender out of round one

Matthew Broadbent will miss round one after a second bout of surgery on his troublesome ankle - AFL,Port Adelaide Power,Matthew Broadbent
Matthew Broadbent will miss round one after a second bout of surgery on his troublesome ankle
He'll be back playing, but he certainly won't see the start of the year
Ken Hinkley on Matthew Broadbent

PORT Adelaide veteran Matthew Broadbent is now certain to have a delayed start to the season after further surgery on the ankle he injured in a freak training accident last year.

The durable 27-year-old underwent a second operation on the joint on Tuesday after it refused to settle after off-season surgery in October.

The Power were already unsure of whether he'd be available for the season opener against Fremantle on March 24, but he will now definitely not be ready in time – and the length of his layoff remains uncertain.

"The timeline is a bit hard. We just need to see the response," coach Ken Hinkley told AFL.com.au on Tuesday.

"We think he'll be slow at the start of the year, but we know the quality of the player and the person, and we know he'll do everything he can to get back.

"He'll be back playing, but he certainly won't see the start of the year."

The injury occurred in freakish circumstances in June last year ahead of the Power's round 14 clash with Collingwood.

Broadbent was dazed when he was hit in the head with a ball at training and rolled his ankle as a result.

He missed the clash with the Pies but returned the following week to play against Richmond. 

However, he was dogged by pain for the rest of the season and only managed two AFL games after that, having played 132 games over the previous six seasons at an average of 22 per year.

Hinkley said while there was a degree of unknown about Broadbent's exact return date, there was no doubt he would see AFL football in 2018.

"He knows he's had a great run with injury over his career and this is the first real challenge he's had," he said. 

"It took a freak accident to bring him undone. 

"He'll recover, and he'll be fine." 

Broadbent is the Power's only long-term injury concern with the rest of the list set to see action in the upcoming JLT Community Series.

Wingman Jared Polec is back running after a hamstring interruption and is rated a "significant chance" to play in the Power's second JLT game against Adelaide on March 10, which will leave him a "strong chance" for round one.   

Chad Wingard and Charlie Dixon are in line to play in the first JLT game against West Coast on February 25 after minor hiccups.  

New recruits Steven Motlop and Lindsay Thomas are poised to join them after being carefully managed in their first pre-season at Alberton.