Port’s Powell-Pepper takes personal leave

Port Adelaide forward Sam Powell-Pepper has become the second AFL player in as many days to be granted personal leave.

A day after St Kilda ruckman and former Power star Paddy Ryder was granted leave, Port released a statement on Thursday saying Powell-Pepper would step away from the club to focus on his wellbeing.

The 23-year-old is nursing a hand injury suffered during a collision at training.

The Power expect Powell-Pepper to return to the club in April.

“Along with the rehabilitation of my broken hand, there are other parts of my life that need some work right now,” Powell-Pepper said.

“I appreciate the support of the club, my coaches and teammates with this.”

The Power open their season against North Melbourne on March 21, before taking on Essendon on March 27.

Even if Powell-Pepper returns in early April it’s unlikely the club will include him in the senior team straight away, meaning a round five return on April 17 looms as a best-case scenario.

Port Adelaide’s general manager of football Chris Davies said Powell-Pepper will be offered the time and support he needs.

Powell-Pepper has played 76 games across four seasons for the Power.

Last year, he kicked a wayward 7.12 from his 19 games.

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