Adelaide utility Ricky Henderson will miss most of the AFL season after fracturing his ankle at Monday training.
Henderson will need surgery to have a plate put in his left ankle.
“Medical experts are hopeful that he will be available for selection late in the season,” the Crows said in a statement.
The 25-year-old was taking part in a training session for players who were not involved in Sunday’s pre-season win over Port Adelaide.
Henderson suffered the injury when he was tackled late in the workout.
“Rick had the ball and was being tackled. Obviously, somewhere in that process he’s lost his balance and there’s been a distribution of weight (through his leg),” Crows list manager David Noble said.
“Hendo’s devastated – he’s had a terrific pre-season campaign and through a training accident his season is on hold,” .
Henderson has played 56 games for Adelaide since his 2010 senior debut.
Injuries restricted him to 14 games last season.
GM of List Development and Strategy David Noble said the injury occurred in a tackle.
Teammate David Mackay said the players were “shattered” for the exciting Crow.
“I was inside doing recovery when it happened, so I don’t know too much about the details but the boys are really devastated for Rick. He’s a popular bloke around the Club and a terrific player. He’s really important for us,” Mackay said.
“The boys are really flat about it. It’s one of those things being involved in this game. These injuries happen sometimes and it’s really unfortunate.”
Noble said the Club was capable of covering Henderson’s place at half-back.
“Rick’s a crucial part of our backline, but you look at yesterday and we had Cam Ellis-Yolmen out there … we didn’t have Brent Reilly running around (but we’ll get him back soon) and we know Brodie Smith has played some terrific footy off half-back,” Noble said.
“It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re capable of being able to cover the loss of Rick.”
Make your contribution to independent news
A donation of any size to InDaily goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. South Australia needs more than one voice to guide it forward, and we’d truly appreciate your contribution. Please click below to donate to InDaily.