AAP AFL

Power star touch and go for season-opener

By AAP Newswire

Port Adelaide's Charlie Dixon has admitted his broken leg was worse than he initially thought and that he can't afford the slightest setback in his rehabilitation if he is to play in round one of the AFL season.

The 28-year-old isn't the only star in some doubt for the Power's season-opener against Melbourne at the MCG, with Robbie Gray (knee) and Ollie Wines (shoulder) suffering pre-season setbacks.

Dixon required surgery after he fractured his right leg and sustained syndesmosis ligament damage to his ankle in a marking contest against West Coast in round 21.

He has only returned to running this week, which would appear to put him at long odds to take on the Demons.

"It was a fairly significant injury - probably a little bit worse than I actually thought," Dixon told Fox Sports.

"It's a slow process. I'm getting back into running and I've dropped five to six kilos to try and pull the weight off the (joint).

"I'm still hoping for round one but not sure where we'll get but I'm just taking it day by day and week by week to see how it progresses.

"I saw a specialist in Sydney last week ... he hasn't ruled out round one or anything, fingers crossed I'll be right, but it was a big injury."

Power coach Ken Hinkley also conceded there is a large element of doubt around Dixon's return.

"It's a significant injury and there could be setbacks," Hinkley told AFL.com.au.

"There could be hold-ups, but it might go smoothly and he could be there in round one.

"We don't know yet."

Gray, who had a knee clean-out at the end of last season, pulled out of the February 22 AFLX tournament citing soreness in the joint and is being carefully managed by the club.

Wines is slated for a return to the field some time in the first month of the season after he dislocated a shoulder in a water skiing accident.