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Otten rallies around Ellis-Yolmen

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  March 1, 2017 1:28 PM

Andy Otten Presser March 1 Andy Otten speaks to media following a successful return to senior footy.
Crows defender Andy Otten

Crows defender Andy Otten

That's happened, you can't control your body, it's what happens now, looking forward, staying positive

Having fought his way back from two knee reconstructions, Adelaide defender Andy Otten felt for teammate Cam Ellis-Yolmen after his own serious knee injury.

"It was pretty heartbreaking, going through it twice (myself) and this is his second one as well, your gut really falls," Otten said on Wednesday.

"We were on camp when we found out (on Tuesday) up in Port Augusta, so I know a lot of the boys rung him straight away just to see how he's going.

"I saw him this morning as well.

"His spirits are high, I think he's made a few social media posts.

"I just spoke to him about, 'That's happened, you can't control your body, it's what happens now, looking forward, staying positive'.

"You can't change the past and you've got to give yourself a few things to look forward to this year and then getting back next year."

Ellis-Yolmen tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during last Friday night's JLT Community Series clash with Richmond at Etihad Stadium.

The big-bodied midfielder only played two games for the Crows in 2016, but he was in the mix for a permanent spot in the side.

After a strong season in the SANFL, the 24-year-old travelled to the US for an intense training camp in November to ensure he was in the best shape possible to grab a place in the Crows' midfield.

Otten knows all about the long road back from rehabilitation.

The 27-year-old suffered his second torn ACL in round 20 of the 2014 season.

He spent 929 days out of the senior side before turning in an impressive performance against the Tigers.

To stay mentally fresh while he was on the outer, Otten is studying an exercise and sports science degree at Charles Darwin University, does a bit of coaching at Henley High School and hangs out at the beach with his two Hungarian Vizslas.

"What I'm doing outside of footy allows me to take my mind off the AFL scene and training," Otten said.

"I've got my outlets, which is important for any player to have and that does take your mind off with what you can get consumed with.

"Being in the League a while now, I've done that before and it does cause headaches, so I've made sure I steer clear of that."

Otten's biggest challenge is retaining his place in the Crows' backline, with Daniel Talia, Kyle Hartigan and Jake Lever holding down the three spots for tall defenders.

"I've just to go make sure my own personal form is up to the level to start with and then keep checking off with the coaches with what they want from me," he said.

"You can't get too down on yourself when you've got an All Australian fullback, Hartigan is probably the most improved player in the league and a young gun like Lever (in front of you).

"It does test your patience and your resilience, but sometimes there's not much you can do other than be patient and wait for your chance, and then grab it when it comes."