THERE'S nothing sinister in the resting of decorated midfielder Kane Cornes, says Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley.

Cornes will miss Saturday's round three match against North Melbourne with Hinkley adamant it's not a signal of a looming end for the 32-year-old.

Hinkley says it's part of a plan for the four-time club champion to play between 16 and 20 games this season - and be fit come finals.

"I have got no thought at all about what Kane's send-off is going to look like," Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

"My plan is for Kane to play the best football he possibly can for us for the whole season.

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"We're not talking about Kane grinding to a halt and stopping ... it's not even on the radar."

Hinkley cautioned against searching for a deeper meaning to the decision.

"It's not a tricky thing. It's nothing other than what it is meant to be," he said.

"Kane has played a lot of football for us and we want to make sure he's at the end of the year.

"People try to read more into them than they actually are

"It's simple: it's the management of our most senior player in his 15th season of AFL football."

Cornes will fly with the team to Melbourne on Friday afternoon and sit alongside Hinkley in the coaches' box on Saturday.

And although he understands Hinkley's motives for resting him, the veteran told Adelaide radio station 5AA that at first he was taken aback.

"Initially I was probably a little bit surprised, I knew it was coming at some point, I probably didn't expect it to be after round three because my body is pretty good," Cornes said. 

“But after he (Hinkley) explained it to me and his thought process around it, I was ok about it.”

Cornes will sit an exam on Monday in the hope to transitioning into the emergency services as a fireman.

He said he had come to terms with season 2015 "probably being my last year" – although Hinkley insisted that if his form held up late in the season he'd entertain re-signing Cornes yet again.

"If he does [play his best football] we'd sit down at the end of this year and say 'why wouldn't you play again?'

"My experience here has been with Dom (Cassisi); Dom knew that the game was getting too fast for him so we had that conversation. 

"If Kane comes to me in 10 weeks' time and says 'mate I'm struggling to keep in this game now', we'd have the same conversation.

"But it's not even on the radar."