KNEE injuries to important defender Ryan Burton and off-season recruit Orazio Fantasia threaten to take the gloss off Port Adelaide's comfortable 46-point victory over Fremantle on Sunday.
Burton hurt his troublesome left knee during the final term of Port Adelaide's round 11 win at Adelaide Oval and was seen icing the affected area on the bench after being subbed off as his team clocked up their eighth win of the season.
POWER v DOCKERS Full match coverage and stats
Fantasia once again suffered some soreness in the same knee that saw the former Bomber miss last round’s narrow one-point victory over Collingwood, and veteran coach Ken Hinkley will be sweating on the results of scans over the next 24 hours.
"Fantasia's knee is a bit grumbly, so there will be some scans needed there and Burton is the same," Hinkley said after the win
"Both (have) a bit of a knee (concern), so there is an issue or two we might have to look at, but we will wait and see."
Burton has played every game in defence for Port Adelaide this campaign after he missed a portion of last year with a knee issue, while Fantasia has booted 19 goals from 10 appearances since returning to South Australia in the off-season
While Hinkley is confident Burton’s knee issue can be managed, he isn’t so sure about Fantasia’s.
"Fantasia has had a few battles with that knee over the last couple of weeks and we might have to do something (minor surgery) there if that is what it ends up being," Hinkley admitted.
"We will investigate that thoroughly over the next day and will make some decisions."
Hinkley is hoping he will regain key defender Tom Clurey and young duo Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma during the second half of the season, and believes his team is well placed for a tilt at this year's premiership.
"We have put ourselves in the upper echelon of the ladder, we know we are facing a bigger finish than what we have got currently," Hinkley said.
"At eight and three (wins and losses) you couldn't be displeased with how we got there.
"We have had a few dealt with some injuries through the year and hopefully we will get some key personnel back in the second half of the year."
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir was left to rue the slow start his side made as Port slammed on the first seven goals of the contest to lead by 40 points at quarter-time.
"We will have to have a look at our preparation....it was disappointing," Longmuir said.
"We lost at the contest and couldn’t get the ball off them... centre bounce was an issue at the start of the game.
"When you give a good team a 40-point head start it is not ideal.
"We need to review that start and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Nat Fyfe has copped much of the criticism for the Dockers' inaccuracy in front of goal this season, but Longmuir leapt to the defence of his skipper who has managed just 5.16 so far this campaign.
"We are creating enough opportunities (to score), we’re just not able to catch up and we need to continue to work away at it and get it right," he said.
"I think it is a team issue and not just his (Fyfe) issue, as he is working hard at it and I would just like to see him back himself in a bit in that moment."
Longmuir is hopeful the hamstring injury that saw Sam Switkowski subbed out of the game during the third term was minor, but said scans will ultimately determine whether the utility will miss next week's clash against the Bulldogs.