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Port ponder taking AFL punt on Fantasia

Port Adelaide could punt on injury-plagued Orazia Fantasia making his long-awaited AFL comeback against ladder-leaders Geelong.

Fantasia hasn’t played an AFL game this season and has featured in state league ranks only twice – most recently, three weeks ago.

The goalsneak had pre-season knee surgery followed by soft tissue injuries.

But with the Power’s finals hopes hanging by a thread, they could risk Fantasia in Saturday’s home clash against the Cats.

“We think he is a good chance to play a full game,” Port assistant coach Nathan Bassett told reporters on Tuesday.

“There is a risk-reward. The risk is significant. And it is how big the reward?”

The potential reward of playing Fantasia is some much-needed scoring power for Port who sit in 12th spot, one win and almost eight per cent shy of eighth-placed Richmond.

Only three teams have scored less than Port this season, the bottom three on the ladder – Adelaide, West Coast and North Melbourne.

“I would like us to kick more goals – like is an understatement,” forwards coach Bassett said.

“And that is why we would look at putting stronger targets in our front half.”

That desire also puts mid-season draftee Brynn Teakle in the selection frame after recovering from a broken collarbone when making his AFL debut a month ago.

Teakle’s possible return would free Charlie Dixon to return to his customary attacking role after being used in ruck in the absence of first-choice ruckman Scott Lycett (shoulder) and Teakle.

“We could use Charlie in the forward line to give us more confidence to attack the goalsquare more,” Bassett said.

“Charlie kicked 48 goals last year and took 75 contested marks – you lose someone who is a strong marking target and someone who brings the ball to ground consistently (when Dixon plays in ruck).

“The reality is we can’t have Charlie in both spots. We have to decide what is best for the team this week and also what is best for us moving forward.”

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