Port Adelaide star Sam Powell-Pepper is on the verge of his first match of the season, but an injured warrior has made way.

Port Adelaide are set to unleash star midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper for the first time this season in Saturday night’s blockbuster clash with the Brisbane Lions.

The 23-year-old took personal leave in March and was also recovering from a broken hand, but he’s now set to replace veteran warrior Travis Boak in The Gabba match.

Boak, who last year earned his third All Australian blazer at the age of 32 and has continued his exceptional run this season, has been ruled out due to a thigh injury.

“It’s disappointing to have Trav out but it’s exciting to have Sam back in the side because we know he brings a different element,” Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley told reporters.

“Sam – the important part was to get himself in a good physical and mental health state. For him to get himself organised and be right and put himself on some really solid, stable ground was important.

“His footy was always going to be pretty simple. Sam plays footy pretty well when he is right.

“So once he got everything else under control – and we gave him the time to do that … Sam has come back in a really good space.

“He has got great support of his teammates and we look forward to him supplying some of that support back to the team tomorrow night.”

The fixture will see last year’s two losing preliminary finalists square off, after Port Adelaide fell to Richmond and Brisbane stumbled against Geelong.

After the opening six rounds of the 2021 season, the Power are placed third and the Lions eighth.

Port Adelaide notched a 54-point victory over St Kilda in round six, while Brisbane bagged an 18-point win over Carlton.

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