WHILE Saturday’s SANFL loss to Norwood was a dampener for Port Adelaide, the return of Xavier Duursma was anything but.
After three months off since injuring his knee in the Round 4 AFL win over Richmond, Duursma finally made his return to football through the SANFL.
The 21-year-old had 14 touches, three marks and four tackles in his first game back and he was pleased to get through unscathed.
“I felt good out there, but obviously just now trying to get fit and tighten up my skills and my cleanliness,” he said.
“I had a bit of full body cramping, I tried to stretch out one and then something else would go and all kinds of stuff happened there.
“I'll be right and be better for it.”
The Magpies went down by six goals and Duursma was frustrated not to have a better performance individually or collectively.
“I didn't play as well as I'd like but this is my first game back,” he said.
“It was obviously a tough day as a team.
“We didn't execute everything as we'd have liked, but I'm happy with getting through.
“My body held up trying to get myself match conditioned again.”
Saturday’s game had a bit of heat involved, and Duursma found himself in the thick of it in those early stages with plenty of push and shove among opponents.
But he said he thrives in rivalry games.
“I like to play those type of games,” he said.
“We don't like Norwood, it's been a rivalry for a long time where we just don't like them.
“Obviously, you want to hit bodies and make sure that they know that you're there.”
Duursma added he isn’t sure when he will pull on the boots in the AFL.
“I'll leave it up to Ken [Hinkley] and Lokes [Matthew Lokan] and all the coaches. Keep building into hopefully returning back to the AFL at some point,” he said.
“If that's in a week, two weeks, whatever that is, I'm just happy with getting back and get this one under my belt and whatever comes to me, I'll always take it.”