Ivan Soldo in action at a Port Adelaide training session on the Gold Coast in December 2023. Picture: Isabel Gawel, Port Adelaide FC

PORT Adelaide recruit Ivan Soldo says he's recovered from unexpected finger surgery in time to push his claims to lead the rucks at his new club.

Soldo joined the Power from Richmond, where he played 57 AFL games, seeking fresh opportunity.

But the 27-year-old suffered a setback when aggravating an injury on his left little finger during one of his first training sessions with Port.

Soldo had surgery on the digit at the end of last season and was forced to have another operation.

"Ruckmen fingers is the narrative, they're always bung," Soldo told reporters on Wednesday.

"I needed some surgery at the season's end and then there were some complications with the fusion of the finger, so I had to re-operate on it.


"I'm finally coming out of that pink hat phase, we call it here, where you're being introduced back into skills.

"It's just wear and tear ... it's a seasonal injury, one jar turns into another jar.

"There's a lot of key backs punching the back of your hand when you're trying to mark it so eventually something has got to give.

"You can only manage it for so long, that's why I needed surgery but the re-operation was something that was unexpected."

Port Adelaide lost its No.1 ruck last season, Scott Lycett, to retirement and made finding replacements a priority during the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.

Kieren Briggs and Scott Lycett compete in the ruck during the semi-final between GWS and Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval on September 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

The Power landed Soldo, ranked behind Richmond captain Toby Nankervis in the Tigers' ruck setup, and also Jordon Sweet, who was stuck behind Western Bulldogs star Tim English.

Soldo was still under contract at Punt Road, complicating his move.

"It was always going to be a tough decision but the Melbourne bubble and the Melbourne footy vibe is definitely refreshing to walk away from," he said.

"To settle in to a new state, a new club, is a nice feeling."

Ivan Soldo during Richmond's clash with North Melbourne in round 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Port also has 20-year-old ruck prospect Dante Visentini on its list.

"That (No.1) spot is always going to be up for grabs," Soldo said.

"It's important to have the healthy competition ... the competition for spots is always an outside noise but internally we just want to play the best team every week.

"Whether it be Jordon, myself or even Dante, it's going to be a conversation Ken (Hinkley, coach) is going to have to enter with the coaching staff."