Blues gain ruck advantage for AFL clash

Roger Vaughan |

Winless Port Adelaide have lost ruckman Scott Lycett for three months because of shoulder surgery, ahead of Sunday’s away AFL clash against Carlton.

The Power confirmed on Friday that Lycett would need an operation on his dislocated shoulder.

It’s another blow for Port as they try to turn around their 0-4 start to the season and a big boost for Carlton, who are coming off a surprise loss to Gold Coast.

The Blues will also regain ruckman Marc Pittonet, who had impressed in their 3-0 opening under new coach Michael Voss before he missed the Suns defeat.

“We have decided the best course of action will be to have the shoulder repaired, which will unfortunately see him miss around three months of football,” Port medical services boss Tim O’Leary said.

Port will bring in ruckman Sam Hayes for his AFL debut.

Voss said Pittonet would be a valuable inclusion, given his solid start to the season.

“We missed him around the ball,” Voss said of last Sunday.

“Certainly Pitto has provided us with a lot of drive around the middle of the ground.”

Voss is also upbeat about captain Patrick Cripps, who suffered a hamstring injury early in the Suns game.

The Blues are saying Cripps, who was on light duties at Friday training, might only be out for one game.

Most hamstring injuries are two matches, at least.

“The assessment we’ve had, which is pretty thorough, is that he’ll be right to go next week,” Voss said.

“Early on, we were hopeful that it was going to be so minor that we might be able to get him up for this week.

“He overstretched for a ball and got a bit tight in that area.

“But certainly no major damage was there, so that gives him a chance for next week at least.”

Voss was not keen to discuss his old boss Ken Hinkley, who is under massive pressure because of Port’s poor start to the season.

Voss left his role at assistant coach to take over at Carlton.

Asked if he had contact this week with the Port senior coach, Voss replied: “as competitors, what do you reckon? No.

“I have a great relationship with a lot of people at Port and I have a lot of friends there.

“But we’re also a performance industry and we have jobs to do.

“He has a job this week to get his team playing the way he wants, I have a job for this team to make sure we can correct a few things from last week and really play at our best.

“We’re going to expect their best and their best is very impressive.”