Port sweat on Dixon fitness test in AFL

Port Adelaide spearhead Charlie Dixon will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness ahead of his side’s AFL clash with Sydney.

Dixon was recalled a week ahead of his scheduled return from an ankle injury for a game the Power must win to keep their slim finals chances alive.

Coach Ken Hinkley says he expects the agile forward to be available on Saturday despite taking an extended squad of 24 players to Sydney as a precaution.

“Charlie’s not over the line yet,” coach Ken Hinkley said on Friday.

“He’s just got to get through (training). He won’t do much.

“The only way Charlie won’t play, in my view, is if something goes wrong in the warm-up tomorrow and he doesn’t feel comfortable.

“We expect that not to be the case.”

After kicking the highest score of the 2016 AFL season in their 25.23 (173) to 11.13 (79) thumping of Brisbane, Port look set to face a much more difficult task against the miserly Swans.

Sydney have been easily the stingiest side in the competition this year, conceding just 68.5 points per game.

Hinkley said the Power would look to stretch the Swans’ backline with the inclusion of 202cm Dixon alongside 197cm John Butcher and 199cm Justin Westhoff, who will line up for his 200th game.

“It’s nearly the first time for the year we’ve actually got a couple of fit, tall forwards with ‘Hoff’ to be out there running around together,” Hinkley said.

“We’re interested to see what happens.

“It’s probably been our desire to have more of that. We haven’t actually been able to do that as often we liked either through form or through injury.”

Port have taken rookie forward Jake Neade and omitted midfielder Jimmy Toumpas to Sydney as travelling emergencies.

The Swans, who have named an unchanged side for Saturday’s game, have not lost to the Power at the SCG since round two, 2006.

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