Port Adelaide ruckman Jarrad Redden is due a change of luck when he makes his AFL comeback against Sydney on Saturday night, Power coach Ken Hinkley says.
Redden will play his first AFL game since round 10, 2013 after suffering a series of shoulder, hip and knee injuries.
Such was Redden’s rotten run, Hinkley doubted the ruckman would ever return.
“There was points in the last 12 months that I’m sure Jarrad Redden thought his football career was over … I didn’t know if Reddo was going to play footy again,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.
“I thought there was a significant chance he probably wouldn’t.
“I think right now he is pinching himself a bit and thinking `I have come a long way from a relatively short period of time’.”
When Redden dislocated a shoulder in mid-2013, he was Port’s first-choice ruckman.
In his absence Matthew Lobbe assumed that status – but ironically will miss the Swans game because of a thigh injury which also prevented him playing in Port’s season-opening loss to Fremantle.
But Hinkley is a big admirer of the talents of Redden, who at 205cm is the tallest player on Port’s list.
“He’s in great shape, he just needs a bit of luck,” Hinkley said.
“In all seriousness, Reddo’s ruck work is as good as anyone’s we have at the club, including Lobbe.
“He was first-choice ruck (in 2013) and we were really excited about what his future may have been.”
Redden replaces the omitted John Butcher while Sydney also made one change for the Saturday night fixture, dropping Harry Cunningham in favour of Jarrad McVeigh.