Port duo in battle to prove AFL fitness

Port Adelaide's Hamish Hartlett faces a fitness test to see if he can play against St Kilda.
Port Adelaide's Hamish Hartlett faces a fitness test to see if he can play against St Kilda.

Influential Port Adelaide duo Hamish Hartlett and Dan Houston are battling to prove their fitness for Sunday's Anzac Day clash against St Kilda.

Hartlett (corked thigh) and Houston (shoulder) are trying to avoid joining rookie defender Lachie Jones on the sidelines.

Jones will miss at least a month because after having ankle surgery.

"It's very disappointing for Lachie but we know that he will attack his rehab and be back in a month or so," Power captain Tom Jonas told reporters on Thursday.

"It opens the door for the likes of Miles (Bergman) who played on the weekend to come to half-back, Marty Frederick, Jarrod Lienert.

"We have got a bit of an embarrassment of riches in the back half at the moment which is making it frustrating for some of the boys caught at SANFL level but at the same there will be opportunities throughout the year."

Port's injury list also features Zak Butters, who will miss at least three more games with an ankle injury and Xavier Duursma, ruled out for three months because of a knee injury.

Half-back Riley Bonner (hamstring) could return next week while Hartlett and Houston face fitness tests closer to game-day against the Saints.

"Those boys are both pretty sore ... Hamish and Dan are important to the team and they're also pretty tough customers so I'd expect them to play," Jonas said.

"There's a fair few of us on light duties.

"We have got some sore bodies ... but that is just part of the game.

"It's going to be a long year, we're back to 22 rounds and full length and some adjustment to the rules so we are going to have to adapt and give other people an opportunity."

Jonas was preparing for a fired-up St Kilda side keen to atone for last week's embarrassing 86-point loss to Richmond - a result preceded by a 20-point win over West Coast and a 75-point loss to Essendon.

"Very aware of St Kilda's threats, particularly with the amount of flak they have been copping in Victoria," Jonas said.

"It's a big game for them but it's equally as big a game for us so we'll be well prepared."

Australian Associated Press