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Zen-like Pyke accepting of Crows' injury woes

Football

Adelaide coach Don Pyke is accepting his AFL club's spate of injuries as just a fact of football.

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The Crows have 14 players on their injury list leading into Friday night’s home clash with the Western Bulldogs – with Mitch McGovern, who’ll miss two months with an ankle injury, the latest casualty.

Adelaide’s injured list features several key players including captain Taylor Walker (glute), vice-captain Rory Sloane (foot), ruckman Sam Jacobs, midfielder Brad Crouch (groin) and All Australian defender Brodie Smith (knee).

“Is it ideal? No, it’s not,” Pyke said on Wednesday.

“I’m not sure what we can do about it but I’m going to focus on the guys that are available, not those who aren’t.

“We have had some setbacks in terms of an availability viewpoint but we have also created some opportunities for guys and seen some guys step forward.

“The worm will turn … in three weeks’ time we might end up with 40 guys available at which point we are dealing with a different scenario.

“That is just life; you don’t get everything the way you want it.

“We need to be able to adapt and adjust and so far we have.”

Walker and Jacobs face fitness tests at training later on Wednesday to determine if they’ll face the Western Bulldogs on Friday night at Adelaide Oval.

Five others on the injury list – Riley Knight, Alex Keath, Sam Gibson, Kyle Hartigan and Curtly Hampton – were expected to return to action this weekend, most likely in state league ranks.

Adelaide have banked five wins from eight games amid their injury troubles.

“I’m really comfortable with where we’re at, in terms of what we have been able to produce in the circumstances of having a few of our better players not available,” Pyke said.

“Every coach would say they want their best players available, that is not the situation we are presented with.

“So I don’t focus with the guys who aren’t playing.

“I focus on the guys who are going to play and how we can get them to play consistently well at the level and compete and try and win games of footy.”

– AAP

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