The match marked Brad Crouch’s long-awaited comeback from a debilitating foot injury that wiped out his 2015 season and, while it was a return overshadowed by his relegation to the reserves for flouting a drinking ban, he set the game alight with a tireless 40 possessions.
Garnering significantly fewer headlines was the late omission – with foot soreness – of new Crows recruit Curtly Hampton, traded in from GWS for a 2016 second round pick at the end of last season.
Unfortunately, we won't see Curtly Hampton in action today because of a sore foot. He was a late withdrawal #weflyasone
— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) March 12, 2016
The speedy defender, 23 last week, had been touted as part of the answer to the Crows’ lack of pace and polish, along with fellow recruit Paul Seedsman.
But four days on, Adelaide is publicly none the wiser as to the severity of his injury.
Late yesterday, the club declared Hampton – who did not play a senior game during the pre-season – was “currently the only player likely to be unavailable for selection in Round One”.
The severity of the injury is still being assessed and the club will provide an update when one is available, the Crows injury update stated, with High Performance General Manager Brett Burton saying: “Curtly just pulled up with some foot soreness mid-last week during training.”
“We’re still gathering information on that and he’ll be assessed over the next few days,” said Burton.
“We’ll have a report later in the week, but he’ll be unlikely for Round One.”
It’s better news elsewhere for fledgling coach Don Pyke, with exciting youngsters Charlie Cameron and Riley Knight re-joining the main training group this week, and new draftee Tom Doedee back in full training after “a lighter few weeks”.
“Riley Knight, Tommy Doedee and Charlie Cameron have been in the rehab environment for the last few weeks, but all going well they’ll join in main training over the rest of this week and next week,” Burton said.
While all will be available for selection, Doedee seems set to spend most, if not all, of this season learning his craft in the SANFL.
Defenders Andy Otten and Ricky Henderson have been catching up on a late pre-season after knee and back surgery respectively, while fringe midfielder Mitch Grigg, who suffered a corked thigh in Saturday’s trial, has been cleared to train.
But with the setbacks and false starts of Brad Crouch so fresh in the memory, the club will be sweating on the results of Hampton’s scans.
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