Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says Alipate Carlile is unlikely to play again in 2016 after the experienced AFL fullback suffered a serious knee injury in the reserves.
With Jack Hombsch sidelined with a hamstring strain and Tom Jonas serving a six-match suspension, the Power could ill-afford to lose their most experienced key defender in Carlile, who had only recently recovered from a broken wrist.
“It is a (posterior cruciate ligament) so he’s probably not going to play again this year and if he does it’ll probably only be the last couple,” Hinkley said after the Power’s impressive 67-point victory over Collingwood on Sunday.
“It’s a big blow to him and it’s a blow to us clearly because he’s our fullback and has been for a number of years.
“But we lose one, we bring one in.”
That one on Sunday was debutant Logan Austin, who held two-time All-Australian Travis Cloke goalless.
“I suppose it is a bit of a risk but you pick him as a tall back, he’s a fullback in the (SANFL) and he plays week-in and week-out on the best tall forwards there,” said Hinkley.
“When you come up, if you’re going to make it as a tall back in the AFL you’re going to play on the good players.
“Travis hasn’t been in great form but he would have been pretty keen to play well today and I thought Loges was solid.”
Port hope to get full-forward Jay Schulz and speedster Matt White back from injury after the bye.