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THE LOSS of Patrick Ryder to a year-long suspension does nothing to help Ken Hinkley decide how best to structure Port Adelaide's ruck setup this year, the coach insists.

Hinkley has been continually questioned since October's recruitment of Charlie Dixon on how  he planned to fit Ryder, Dixon and Matthew Lobbe into the same side.

On paper the absence of Ryder would seemingly simplify Hinkley's personnel issue – Dixon has spent the bulk of his career up forward while Lobbe is at his best in the ruck.

Hinkley disagreed, claiming his problem of how to play two ruckmen remained, regardless of the fact that Ryder will be forced to sit out season 2016.

"I've been asked the question for the past six or eight weeks, 'How are we going to play two rucks?' I still have that same drama," Hinkley said.

"It's like building something you get from Bunnings and there's a bit missing – you go, 'Am I going to stop building? Am I going to stop trying?' No.

"We're going to be OK. We saw last year West Coast lost their reigning best and fairest winner in the NAB [Challenge] through injury; this is a different way to lose a player.

"My plan last night was Lobbe and Ryder to be rucking for us and [the ban] certainly makes some adjustments to us now, but that's what we'll deal with.

"We'll move on to deal with that as best we possibly can and we still look forward to a really successful season."

Hinkley said news of their suspensions came as a shock to Ryder and teammate Angus Monfries and that the club's primary focus was to ensure they received the support required.

That will include constant communication with the pair this year despite their ineligibility to train with the club.

The Power are still trying to work out just how helpful they can be in ensuring Ryder and Monfries remain fit in 2016.

"Essentially they can't be at the footy club until quite close to when the ban ends … we can't have any training contact with them," Port's football manager Chris Davies said.

"Our understanding is they've got to be the ones who are actually getting themselves to a position where they're fit and ready to come back.

"Of course we would love to put our people around them to make sure that they're in a position to come back, but right now we don't have that clarification."


Speaking on Channel Seven on Tuesday night, Port Adelaide president David Koch said the club had encouraged the duo to accept a deal that might have seen them incur a lesser penalty when it was on the table.


"We purely suggested it to their lawyers and to the players and under pressure from their colleagues at Essendon, the players, they stuck to the playing group," Koch said.


He also said Port Adelaide's board would discuss whether it should push for compensation from Essendon given Angus Monfries was traded to Port Adelaide without the club having any knowledge that he might be subject to a potential anti-doping violation.

Earlier on Tuesday the AFL said the Power would be eligible to upgrade two rookies to cover the loss of Ryder and Monfries.

But Hinkley said he wanted to start the season with a full list and that the club would seek to gain permission from the AFL to do so.

"We'll have the opportunity to upgrade two rookies, we would hope and like to think there's a little bit more to that," Hinkley said.

"I'd like to start the season with a full list of players – there's no doubt about that.

"This is an unusual [circumstance], I think there should be some flexibility in what that looks like. 

"That's going to be a matter for a bit later on."