PORT Adelaide's finals chances have been dealt a massive blow with coach Ken Hinkley to miss the club's crucial clash against Melbourne in Alice Springs.

Hinkley has entered Health and Safety protocols ahead of Sunday's game as the Power try to stay in touch with the top eight and a finals berth that looked near-impossible after a 0-5 start to the season.

While the senior coach won't make the trip to the Northern Territory he will still be in communication with Port's coaches.

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"First and foremost, Ken is feeling fine," Port's general manager of football Chris Davies said.

"He will continue to contribute in the lead up to Sunday’s game and will be connected to the coaches’ box on game-day whilst isolating at home.

Ken Hinkley and Jase Burgoyne chat after Port Adelaide beat Greater Western Sydney in R17, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"Fortunately, we've planned for various scenarios in recent months, including impacts from Covid on our coaching group.
"Forwards coach Nathan Bassett will coordinate messaging across the lines at each break, whilst midfield coach Brett Montgomery will remain focussed on instructing the midfield group, who will be critical to the result on Sunday.
"And Chad Cornes will continue in his usual role as defensive coach."

Davies said no other members of the club's coaching staff had shown symptoms but all would be monitored ahead of the group traveling to Alice Springs on Saturday afternoon.

Port is coming off a big win over Greater Western Sydney last round that kept its chance of September action alive, but now faces four huge games in a row.

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A home game against ladder-leader Geelong awaits after the Demons, followed by Collingwood at the MCG and Richmond at Adelaide Oval.

"We know we have a massive challenge ahead at the weekend against Melbourne," Davies said.

"If we get that done, we are one win closer to potentially getting to finals.

"Right now, it is purely about Melbourne."