Port Adelaide's Dixon says he's ready for AFL return
Port Adelaide key forward Charlie Dixon is firming to return from injury for Friday night's high-stakes AFL match against Melbourne.
Dixon missed the Power's 70-point thrashing of North Melbourne because of a thigh injury.
But the spearhead is declaring his fitness for the Adelaide Oval fixture between coach Ken Hinkley's fourth-placed side and the second-placed Demons.
"He's tracking pretty well," Hinkley told reporters on Wednesday.
"We're optimistic around him being available for Friday night but we won't know that until much, much closer to the game.
"He's telling me he's ready.
"Those players, they have got a lot of trust and you give them responsibility. Charlie knows himself better than any of us.
"But we wouldn't play him if it's going to make it worse, it's too early in the year, it's round 10, we're not going to take a risk."
Dixon's fellow forward Todd Marshall will miss the game after suffering his second concussion in the past month.
"Todd is pretty good, to be fair," Hinkley said.
"Unfortunately he has had a second concussion in a short perid of time so we will be very mindful of how that plays out, where it positions Todd.
"But all things being equal, he's really healthy, really good today.
"So I would imagine if he follows the concussion protocols, that would make him available for Sunday week."
Darcy Byrne-Jones, who has reinvented himself as a small forward in a successful move his customary half-back role, is certain to return against Melbourne.
Byrne-Jones has recovered after being a late withdrawal last week because of illness.