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Injury wrap: Crows, Power hit hard after bruising weekend

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THE HITS keep coming for the AFL's two South Australian clubs, whose precarious finals hopes will be further challenged by injuries as they regroup for tough runs home.

Ninth-placed Port Adelaide, the competition's Jekyll and Hyde enigma, might be forced to find some reinforcements for its huge home clash with Greater Western Sydney at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night after copping a battering from Richmond.

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Early in the last quarter at the MCG on Saturday, Power runner Dan Houston was tackled heavily from behind by tough Tiger Jack Graham and his head was slammed to the turf.

Houston remained grounded for some time and appeared groggy before jogging from the field with trainers.

 

Earlier, Port little man Sam Gray copped a corked thigh midway through the third term and played on but was clearly hindered.

Soon after Gray's knock, Power big man Dougal Howard received a knee to the ribs that left him wincing and forced him from the field. In a sign that he is likely to face the Giants, Howard returned to the fray and played out the game.

In further bad news for Port Adelaide, coach Ken Hinkley revealed post-match that co-captain Ollie Wines was likely to miss another one or two games with his fractured left thumb.

And it only gets worse for the Power with the Giants team that smashed Collingwood set to be bolstered by the return of co-skipper Phil Davis, who was a late withdrawal with soreness.

The Power's crosstown rival Adelaide is clinging to eighth spot and faces a danger game against a resurgent Carlton at the MCG on Saturday – a clash that will become decidedly tougher if the visitors are forced to make do without co-captain Taylor Walker and fellow forward Tom Lynch.

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The out-of-form Walker, who suffered a medial ligament strain in his right elbow in the round 15 loss to Geelong and has since played with strapping around the joint, seemed to aggravate that injury in a collision with Bomber defender Mason Redman in the opening minutes on Friday night.

Walker left the field for treatment but returned to complete the majority of the game.

Big Crow Taylor Walker leaves the field in pain after his elbow injury. Picture: AFL Photos

Lynch, in his first game back from a calf injury, sent a scare through the Crows' camp late in the second term when he experienced a quad issue. However, he played on and racked up 80 per cent of game time and finished up one of his team's best performers.

The Friday night blockbuster at the MCG between Collingwood and Richmond looms as a battle for a spot in the top four, and the fourth-placed Magpies will sweat on the fitness of defensive runner Chris Mayne.

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The consistent role player, who would again be a strong candidate for an assignment on a Tigers star, copped a knock to his left knee in the loss to the Giants and finished the game with an ice pack on the joint midway through the last quarter.

Reigning premier West Coast has concerns for its chief defensive playmakers in skipper Shannon Hurn and Jeremy McGovern ahead of a home clash with North Melbourne at Optus Stadium on Saturday.

Hurn was a late withdrawal from the Alice Springs game against Melbourne with a calf problem, while McGovern hurt his left ankle after landing awkwardly in a marking contest and left the field for a time.

Jeremy McGovern was off the ground for a while after hurting his ankle. Picture: AFL Photos

Eagles full-forward Josh Kennedy also tweaked his right ankle before half-time and was sore again after landing heavily in the third term.

Hawthorn has its own issues with two star running backs as it attempts to break a three-game hoodoo against Brisbane at University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston on Saturday.

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Veteran defender Grant Birchall, just a week into his AFL comeback, was a late withdrawal from the game against Geelong with "delayed onset muscle soreness".

Worse was to come, though, when speedster Jarman Impey sustained a potentially serious knee injury that is likely to end his season.

 

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In other developments:

  • Fremantle ruckman Rory Lobb hurt a shoulder late in the win over Sydney but is still rated a chance to face the Western Bulldogs against Fremantle at Marvel Stadium on Sunday. Skipper Nat Fyfe is aiming to return after missing the Swans game with an elbow infection.
  • Bulldogs runner Matt Suckling received treatment to a hip throughout the loss to St Kilda, while Josh Schache was crunched in the third quarter and didn't finish the game.
 
  • Essendon captain Dyson Heppell continues to battle a foot complaint and must be in some doubt for the trip to the Gold Coaston Sunday.
  • Melbourne trio in co-captain Jack Viney (concussion), key defender Steven May (tight hamstring) and Harrison Petty (ankle) are also under clouds ahead of their encounter with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
 
  • Carlton youngster Paddy Dow was a late withdrawal from the clash with Gold Coast due to illness, while co-skipper Patrick Cripps was hammered early and lacked his usual sharpness thereafter but completed the match.
  • Gold Coast midfielder Will Brodie hurt a hamstring midway through the last quarter and didn't return.