Xavier Duursma in action in 2020. Photo: portadelaidefc.com.au

Xavier Duursma in action in 2020. Photo: portadelaidefc.com.au

It's been a long time recovering for Port Adelaide gun Xavier Duursma and he's itching to get stuck into his first game back in the SANFL.

For Xavier Duursma, the past three months has been a road to recovery after suffering a knee injury in Port Adelaide’s win over Richmond.

The third-year star was injured in the dying moments of Port’s two-point victory over the Tigers, as was fellow draft jet Zak Butters.

Butters returned to action in the SANFL last week, and now it’s Duursma’s turn as Port Adelaide takes on fierce rival Norwood.

Speaking with The Inner Sanctum, Duursma said he’s itching to get back out onto Alberton Oval.

“It’s obviously been a long time, I’m very excited to get back out there hopefully get a few touches in my hand,” he said.

“Seeing Zak [Butters] come in and play really well was good to see as well, doing his usual things that he does, smash packs and look really crafty and and classy out there.

“I think he’s probably going to be back in the AFL side on Thursday.

“Not just keen to see him back and playing well, but Jackson (Mead) and Tom (Clurey) too.”

With length injury lay-offs comes a lot of mental challenges too, but Duursma credited the doctors and his teammates for keeping him on track.

“It’s the first time I’ve actually had surgery and it was a bit of a new kind of experience and I didn’t really know what to expect and I had to stay open minded and really positive the whole time,” he said.

“I’ve had small injuries before and tried to stay as positive as I could.

“Talking regularly to the medical staff and getting confirmation about how I’m feeling and what’s going on in my knee and why are things doing this and so on.

“They were really good and having the boys around me to be up and about. I was really motivated to try and not only do my rehab but do it to the best of my ability.”

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Duursma was sensational before suffering his injury against the Tigers in Round 4 with 21 touches, a goal and six marks.

Reflecting on the game and the moment he suffered his injury, Duursma said it was a hard and tough game.

“It was obviously a pretty hard and tough game, it’s not really easy to play against some of the best sides like Richmond are and I feel like at the time I was pretty buggered at the time,” he said.

“I think it was just a bit of an awkward and weird situation of where I kicked it and tried to land on my foot I kicked it on.

“I had a big hyperextension to the side and that’s what happens, I guess sometimes you get unlucky and that was probably one of the times.

“I don’t really remember a lot of it because I felt like I smashed my head in the ground as well.

“I feel like I did as well as I could before I got injured and hopefully put us in a good position to win.”

In the SANFL, the Port Adelaide versus Norwood rivalry is arguably its biggest.

Duursma said it’s a stage he’s eager to shine on.

“I’m looking forward to a big game against Norwood, a big rivalry game for Port Adelaide,” he said.

“This will be my first SANFL game and I think a good one to come into.

“Any kind of rivalry game or big game I try and get my absolute best out of myself and I feel the bigger the game, the better I’ve usually played in this type of stuff.”

Port Adelaide will take on Norwood in the SANFL at 2.30pm on Saturday.

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