Patrick Ryder, Steven Motlop and Jack Trengove celebrate Port’s win against Carlton. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Patrick Ryder, Steven Motlop and Jack Trengove celebrate Port’s win against Carlton. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

‘Best form ahead’: Ryder ready to launch for finals run

PORT Adelaide's need to keep lead ruckman Patrick Ryder on the park is on a stronger footing today as the All-Australian feels less pain on his troubled left Achilles after AFL matches.

Ryder, who missed five games after the opening round with tendinitis to the Achilles after the season-opener, is now completing matches without hobbling into a recovery phase.

Paddy Ryder gives chase to Carlton's Sam Rowe. He has stopped limping after games following his ankle injury. Picture: Michael Klein
Paddy Ryder gives chase to Carlton's Sam Rowe. He has stopped limping after games following his ankle injury. Picture: Michael Klein

Port Adelaide forwards-ruck coach and 2004 premiership ruckman Brendon Lade is expecting Ryder to deliver a stronger influence towards September as he feels more comfortable on his left foot.

"You've seen Paddy limping a lot (this season after games), but the past two weeks he has not limped at all," Lade said of Ryder's sounder footing since the mid-season break.

"He has been very diligent in his rehab - getting that right with ice at home and a (hot) wheat bag (when he goes to the bench) during games. He is doing everything he can to get through - and he is doing a good job at the moment."

Ryder, 30, has played eight consecutive AFL games since returning from injury to be part of the Power's six wins in that run - including the four-in-a-row sealed with victory on Saturday against last-ranked Carlton in Port Adelaide's first visit to the MCG this season.

Port Adelaide will seek to advance to an 11-4 record when it hosts non-contender St Kilda at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Port Adelaide ruckman Patrick Ryder jostles with Carlton's Andrew Phillips. Picture: Michael Klein
Port Adelaide ruckman Patrick Ryder jostles with Carlton's Andrew Phillips. Picture: Michael Klein

Lade expects Ryder to benefit from a stronger training base - and this to propel Ryder to significant solid form that has appeared in glimpses in an injury-dampened season.

"Paddy's best form is definitely in front of him," Lade said of Ryder. "He has had some patches where he has been brilliant. There's been some times when he has not been as good as he should have been …

"But he is now getting back into some good work on the training track. And, hopefully, we see the benefits of that in the next three or four weeks because if he gets up and going, we're an even better stoppage team - and that would be great."