Walker, Sloane primed for Showdown returns
TAYLOR Walker is "very confident" he will be fit for Showdown 44 and expects to be flanked by Rory Sloane as Adelaide's leadership ensemble confronts Port Adelaide on Saturday.
"I am fit, just have to get through training this week but I am a good chance of playing," said Walker.
Tom Lynch filled in as skipper in Adelaide's 55-point win against Carlton on Saturday night with Walker and Sloane sidelined by hamstring and foot injuries.
"I have done a lot of training and when you are doing rehab you probably do more training than with the group. I am in great order to be able to play on the weekend."
Walker was "relatively close" to playing against Carlton but said it would have been "silly" to aggravate his hamstring strain.
Asked about Sloane's comeback from the foot injury that flared in Adelaide's round four loss to Collingwood, Walker said: "He is a good chance as well."
"We had to back him off a bit, he has been able to do a fair bit of training as well, he will be back fresh on Saturday."
Walker all but conceded Wayne Milera was the club's latest hamstring victim this season, joining the skipper, Eddie Betts, Matt Crouch, Sam Gibson, Kyle Hartigan, Kyle Cheney. Walker said there would be "modifications" to Adelaide's training regime.
"He has pulled up pretty well, it is similar to mine (irritation) I think so he will get some scans," said Walker.
"It is not ideal, you want your best players playing, we review our program every week and will continue to do that."
Port Adelaide skipper Travis Boak said ruckman Paddy Ryder had emerged unscathed on his return from an Achilles strain in a disappointing loss to West Coast.
"He pulled up really well, got through the game really well. It was good to get time on the footy and a bit of match practice out there. He will be better for the run," said Boak of Ryder who tackle three-time Showdown Medallist Sam Jacobs.
Boak concurred with Port coach Ken Hinkley's 'soft' appraisal of Port's display against the Eagles at Optus Stadium.
"It was no where we near what we expect, you lose the contested ball (161-121) by that much, it is a pretty poor performance and we will review that," Boak said.
Adelaide enters the Showdown in third spot while Port has slipped to 11th but Walker said the sting hadn't gone out of the rivalry.
"I tip that Boaky and the boys don't like Crows and vice versa, they are great games. You are always in until the last quarter no matter what the score is," said Walker.