The injured Zak Butters after half-time of Port Adelaide's clash against Sydney in round 14, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley expects Zak Butters to spend some time on the sidelines with a suspected medial injury suffered in Saturday's 23-point win over Sydney at Adelaide Oval.

Butters went down early in the second term after Harry Cunningham landed awkwardly on his left knee in a tackle, the 21-year-old having made a bright start to the game with nine disposals and a goal.

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The No.12 pick in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft attempted to get back on the field after strapping was applied to the knee, but struggled to run on the boundary and was subbed out.


"We all understand how good Zak can be, he's a pretty important player but he'll miss some time no doubt with his knee," Hinkley told reporters.

"It looks like a medial. But we'll tell you exactly what happens once we get the information."

Ollie Wines (34 disposals) and Connor Rozee (29 disposals and a goal) stepped up in Butters' absence to steer a Power side missing veteran duo Travis Boak and Robbie Gray to a crucial victory.

The Power also lost debutant ruckman Brynn Teakle, who they picked up a fortnight ago in the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft, to a broken collarbone in the second quarter following a bump on Justin McInerney.

"He's got enough spunk about him as he's walking in at half-time, (saying) 'That's the best 35 minutes ever'," Hinkley said. "He's happy with himself. The fact he's playing AFL football is a pretty good story."


Hinkley enjoyed a laugh to himself about Todd Marshall's critics, who he said have been made to "look silly" after another excellent display from the forward.

Marshall booted a match-winning four majors, meaning the much-maligned forward has managed 21 goals in eight games since Port's 0-5 start to the season.

The 23-year-old was the subject of criticism throughout Port's early-season struggles but hauled down eight marks with seven score involvements along with his four goals, including three in the first half against the Swans, having booted three last week in a narrow loss to Richmond.

"Some people look silly don't they," Hinkley said. "I've got to enjoy that moment because I've felt a bit of heat for Todd for a good period of time."

Todd Marshall celebrates a goal during Port Adelaide's clash against Sydney in round 14, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Hinkley added: "He's a young forward who's taken a bit of time to get to where he can be. He's still got a lot to go. He's got so much more growth still. He's still very young.

"I've said it a number of times and people don't like to listen. The reality is he's had some challenges early but he's kept at it and we've stuck with him."

Hinkley was delighted with his side's pressure, winning the tackle count 72-51, including 18-7 tackles inside 50.

"We knew we had to bring absolute elite pressure against a Sydney Swans side who are very good," he said. "You look back to the Richmond game, it was a high-pressure game and a few things went against us late."

Sydney coach John Longmire agreed the Power's tackling pressure, which forced numerous Swans defensive turnovers leading to goals, was the difference.


"Their pressure was elite," he said. "They went 18 tackles inside forward 50, to their credit. They put enormous pressure on.

"They did it really well and we turned the ball over coming out of our back half. In the Melbourne game we were able to do a better job of it. Their pressure was pretty strong from the 15-minute mark of the first quarter."

Longmire bemoaned his side's inaccuracy in the second term, kicking 2.7, before the Power ran away with the game with a six-goal blitz to start the third, although the visitors weren't helped by two undisciplined acts from ex-Port ruckman Peter Ladhams, leading to free-kick goals.

Ladhams will likely come under Match Review Officer (MRO) scrutiny for a hit to the torso of Wines in the third term which led to a down-the-ground free kick and Charlie Dixon goal.


"I didn't even see it," Longmire said about the Ladhams hit on Wines. "I know there was something in it. I'll watch it on Monday. He'll learn from it."

On Ladhams' ill-disciplined acts, Longmire added: "I haven’t spoken to him yet. I'll let it die down. There's no point talking about it now.

"You're not going to solve anything talking about it now… Hopefully he learns from it."