Port Adelaide v Brisbane Lions AFL match at Adelaide Oval.
Port Adelaide v Brisbane Lions AFL match at Adelaide Oval.

Cruciate ligament injury to star Port midfielder

Brad Ebert could join Ryan Burton on the sidelines as the fallout from Port Adelaide's shocking loss to Brisbane continues.

Ace veteran midfielder/forward Ebert hurt his left knee in the second quarter of the eight-goal defeat at Adelaide Oval on Sunday but after hobbling to the bench he returned to play out the game.

But senior assistant coach Michael Voss said Ebert, who missed a month of AFL after a third concussion of the season against Collingwood in round seven, had pulled up sore after the match and was in doubt to play Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

"Brad has a PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) injury,'' said Voss.

"He'll have that scanned to see what sort of damage is there, if any, but he may miss (a game).

"He managed to go back out on the ground and play out the game, which is some sort of effort, so we are hoping it's on the minor side.''

 

Playmaking defender Burton is expected to miss at least a month after ripping his right hamstring while chasing Brisbane speedster, former Crow Charlie Cameron, towards goal in the third quarter.

It was the second injury to the former Hawk's right hamstring this season after a slight strain against Adelaide in round eight that sidelined him for two matches.

"He'll get the full assessment, the scans, but the early indications suggest that it will be about (a month out),'' Voss said.

 

DOWN AND OUT: Ryan Burton shows the agony of a torn hamstring against Brisbane. Picture: DANIEL POCKETT (Getty Images).
DOWN AND OUT: Ryan Burton shows the agony of a torn hamstring against Brisbane. Picture: DANIEL POCKETT (Getty Images).

Port should regain important defender Dan Houston after he was a late withdrawal against the Lions with a virus.

Voss said the club would take an in-depth look at which players had been prone to inconsistency as it looks to become a reliable team following two months of up and down football where the gap between its best and worst had been wide.

First-year running machine Xavier Duursma is almost certain to earn a recall after surprisingly being dropped against Brisbane.

"We'll deal at the individuals who go up and down (in form),'' Voss said.

"If you look back at our selections over the course of the whole year you'll see we are not afraid to make changes if they are needed.''

Voss said Port's inconsistency had "frustrated'' the coaching group and players.

"We are walking a real fine tightrope right now on the season,'' he said.

"Looking at the competition it is so close and we are frustrated that we can't replicate week after week performance.

"We are absolutely doing everything, turning over every rock, to ensure that we can look at what works and we're trying a lot of things as well.

"We'll do that again but our view is that we go to the MCG and we shape up pretty well against them (the Tigers).

"They are in pretty good form but we've shown we've got some good capacity as well.''