Paddy Ryder takes off against Port Adelaide in a pre-season game. Picture: Sarah Reed
Paddy Ryder takes off against Port Adelaide in a pre-season game. Picture: Sarah Reed

Ebert: Ryder tipped for lift off against Eagles

PORT Adelaide midfielder Brad Ebert is confident ruckman Paddy Ryder will play in Perth provided he gets through Thursday's training session.

Ryder has been missing since the club's Round 1 win against Fremantle, when an Achilles tendon injury flared.

Ebert expected neither the flight nor the reportedly hard surface at the new Perth Optus Stadium would be factors when it came to Ryder's selection for Saturday's game against West Coast.

"If he gets through (today's training session) he'll play," Ebert said on Adelaide's Triple M on Thursday morning.

Ebert also spoke about the season-changing win against North Melbourne.

It was significant for a range of reasons, he said: The club had been feeling for young forward Todd Marshall, who is on leave to grieve his late father, it had been dealing with the fallout from the Sam Powell-Pepper nightclub incident and the loss of veteran defender Hamish Hartlett for the rest of the season to a knee reconstruction.

The club had also had two straight losses after beginning the season with three straight wins.

"There was definitely that talk around the group," Ebert said.

"Just for the guys who were hurting ... it was a good effort from the boys to say, 'Let's get a win and put a smile on the boys' faces'.

"You know Todd is hurting, 'Hartsy' (Hartlett) obviously was gutted after Thursday's session and then 'Peps' (Powell-Pepper) had been through plenty during the week.

"I guess it was just making sure that we could stick together."