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Crows to field one, maybe two, debutants against Lions

Football

Adelaide will field its first AFL debutant since Round One on Saturday against cellar-dwellers Brisbane, with back-up ruckman Reilly O'Brien to take the field in place of injured Sam Jacobs.

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The Crows yesterday ruled out both Jacobs and veteran midfielder Scott Thompson, with the club’s six-day break seen as an opportunity to rest the 33-year-old, who notched his 300th game against Collingwood in round 17.

Jacobs has failed to adequately recover from a sprained ankle after landing awkwardly during a marking contest against Essendon on Sunday and will be replaced by debutant O’Brien.

Coach Don Pyke says the 201cm Jacobs has been cleared of any major damage but has suffered swelling which will prevent him from playing.

“There’s nothing sinister in there,” Pyke said yesterday.

“It’s a pretty traditional ankle sprain. We’re hopeful for next week but we’ll probably have to see how he goes over the weekend and how quickly he can get up and going next week.”

Durable onballer Thompson has only missed one game this season and is averaging 24 disposals, seven tackles and almost six clearances per outing.

“I’d spoken to ‘Thommo’ over the break about the likelihood of trying to give him another spell between the mid-season bye and the end of the season,” Pyke said.

“Without putting a firm date, we looked at the timing… he pulled up a bit sore so it just made sense. It gives someone else an opportunity and it gives him a chance to freshen up.”

Youngsters Harrison Wigg, Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Mitch Grigg are among those in line to replace Thompson, while captain Taylor Walker is also likely to return after missing Adelaide’s 82-point thumping of Essendon with an ankle injury.

“He’s really optimistic which is a good sign,” said Pyke.

“We’ve got to see him train and see how he recovers… and take it from there.”

-AAP

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