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Brad building, says Sauce

Harry Thring, AFL Media  January 18, 2016 3:28 PM

Sam Jacobs Presser January 18 Ruck man Sam Jacobs speaks to the media about how the boys are going thus far in 2016.
Adelaide 2015 - Open Training, Jan 18

Brad Crouch tackles Dean Gore during a pre-season training session

He's obviously really excited just to be back out there amongst the boys and we're excited to have him back.

Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs is excited to see the progress Brad Crouch is making as the young midfielder looks to put injury woes behind him.

The prodigiously talented midfielder has been held back by constant injuries since starting his AFL journey, most recently to his feet.

Crouch has played just 25 senior games in four years and failed to pull on a Crows jumper last year due to a stress fracture in his foot.

The 22-year-old was eased into the pre-season by new coach Don Pyke but Jacobs said Crouch was now approaching a full load of training.

"He probably started pre-season a little bit [slowly] but now he's starting to build back up to the normal training regime," Jacobs said on Monday.

"He's obviously really excited just to be back out there amongst the boys and we're excited to have him back.

"Just little snippets you can see how good he's going to be and what we've been missing."

Gallery: Open Training, January 18

Jacobs said the hardest thing for Crouch over the past four injury-interrupted seasons was the fact that he's been robbed of his outlet for competition.

The ruckman described Crouch as fiercely competitive and said his mindset had improved as he closed in on a return to full training.

"He's a real footballer, he just loves the contest and loves playing," he said.

"That's probably the hardest thing for him … taking that competitiveness away from him – being injured.

"When you're swimming and doing bike on your own, it's hard to get that competitive fix.

"Hopefully we can get him back sooner."

Jacobs too was forced to pace himself at the start of pre-season, having had a minor elbow operation in the off-season.

He was again one of the League's leading ruckmen in 2015 and said he was confident he'd be able to back up his solid year.

"I've been able to complete most sessions – I had a bit of an elbow clean-out at the end of the season," he said.

"But like I said I've been able to complete most sessions and do all the running, which for me is probably the most important part at this time of year.

"I've got to a level now where I know what I need to do to get my body in a position to be able to compete best."