PORT ADELAIDE will be sweating on the fitness of Connor Rozee for next week’s game against Essendon after the 22-year-old hurt his right knee in the second quarter of Saturday night’s loss to Richmond.

Rozee left the field before half time and appeared to be in some discomfort but returned after the break with the knee heavily strapped and played out the game.

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The mercurial midfielder was even able to fly high on the back of opponent Daniel Rioli for a mark of the week contender in the last quarter, finishing with 17 disposals, three clearances and four tackles to go with the goal be booted after his big mark.

Defender Darcy Byrne-Jones also had some blurred vision after taking a poke to the eye but he too played out the game.

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Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says Rozee will have scans to determine the extent of the injury but the initial prognosis was that the knee remained structurally sound.

“It will be interesting to see how he pulls up because he’ll be one that we’ll have to monitor really closely because he’s had a really strong and impressive season for us and there’s been some real growth in his game,” the coach said.

“We had good conversations with the medical team and they were very certain there was not going to be any further damage done.

“It was whether the pain was manageable for Connor and he seemed to think it was. You wouldn’t take a risk with a player like Connor, regardless of the stage of the season.

“(The doctor) said structurally it’s all fine so that gives you some confidence.”

Midfielder Connor Rozee had his knee assessed by medical staff during the game, but was able to run out the full game against Richmond. Image: AFL Photos.

It was a disappointing night at Adelaide Oval for Hinkley’s side, which went down 16.13 (109) to 10.11 (71) after the Tigers blew the game open with a seven-goals-to-three third term.

The visitors were well served by ruckman and captain Toby Nankervis who had 29 disposals along with 42 hit-outs to get the ball going in his side’s favour, and he combined with midfielders Dion Prestia and Trent Cotchin for 24 clearances.

Port was well beaten in the contest and Hinkley said as well as that, his side was punished on its turnovers.

“There were some critical parts of the game that we were beaten badly in,” he said. “We had plenty of opportunities but in the contest itself, they were cleaner with the ball, they were certainly more effective away with the ball, they were able to take territory off us, which is a really big part of our game and we usually do it reasonably well.

“Richmond was able to be stronger and better organised around the ball than us.

“We played a game that was pretty good until half time and then they were able to dominate the game to take the game away from us.

“They gave us some turnovers but they had more polish and they were certainly able to put more scoreboard pressure on us.”

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Before Saturday night’s game there was a very faint chance of Port Adelaide playing finals while Richmond’s win takes it back into the top eight after other results fell its way on Saturday.

But Hinkley denied the Tigers had more to play for.

“There was a lot on the line for us with the way we played and the way we want to go about it,” he explained.

“I thought you couldn’t question that up to half time because I thought our intensity and effort, and tackling pressure and everything else was at a good level and we were right in the game.”

Port Adelaide will travel to Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium to tackle Essendon next Sunday before finishing its season with a home Showdown against the Crows.