Port’s Schulz set for AFL return

Port Adelaide spearhead Jay Schulz is set to return to AFL action but ruckman Matthew Lobbe remains on the outer.

Port coach Ken Hinkley says Schulz’s expected return from a back injury for Friday night’s away fixture against Hawthorn will likely be the Power’s sole selection change.

Schulz looms as a swap for defender Jackson Trengove, out for the rest of the season after shoulder surgery, while ruckman Lobbe will miss again after being dropped last week.

“If Schulz comes up, that will probably be the only change,” Hinkley told reporters on Thursday ahead of a match-eve training session.

The absence of Trengove and his fellow key back Alipate Carlile, who will also miss the rest of the season because of a hip injury, leave Port light on for defensive stocks against the Hawks on Friday night.

“A couple of key players aren’t there … but opportunity will come and someone has to step up,” Hinkley said.

“We have always said it’s about the collective, not about the individual.

“It certainly tests you a little bit but that is okay.”

The game is a rare foray for Port into the primetime slot and Hinkley believes his side’s poor form – 12th, nine wins – will cost it more Friday night games.

“Certainly it’s great from a commercial point of view, we would love to be involved in as many Friday nights as we possibly can,” Hinkley said.

“And we understand that you earn those opportunities.

“Our last couple of years have given us a couple of chances.

“But this year we haven’t played as well as we need to. Probably and possibly, that means we won’t get too many of them next year.”

Port play two Friday night games this season, after one last year.

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