Adelaide Senior Coach Matthew Nicks says Matt Crouch won’t be rushed back into the side as he recovers from a recent bout of groin surgery.
The 2017 Club Champion, who signed a two-year contract extension in September, underwent further groin surgery to alleviate soreness last month.
Speaking to the media during a press conference about the Club’s new long-term partner Hungry Jack's, Nicks said Crouch’s recovery was the priority.
“Probably in the initial first five minutes before I spoke to him (when Nicks found out he needed surgery), I was quite concerned,” Nicks said.
“(But) that may be a good thing for Matty Crouch because he’s probably the hardest worker we’ve got.
“It’s hard when you’re bringing someone back from what Matt’s gone through to, I guess, temper his enthusiasm.
“He’s a very important part, he’s a crucial part of our footy side in our midfield and we’d love him to be ready to go Round One.
“But it’s a long road back and I’ll make sure that he has the messaging that there’s no rush for him to return.”
Nicks said utility Wayne Milera was also tracking well in his comeback from a ruptured patella tendon sustained during a pre-season hit-out earlier this year.
“(Milera’s) going really well,” Nicks said.
“It’s a tough spot for him to be in... two years out of footy, the mental side of things becomes challenging.
“But he’s been an ultimate professional.
“He’s done right throughout the break, working on his rehabilitation is quite challenging but to his credit he’s been outstanding.
“I think he’s one of those players who’s really looking forward to the guys coming back.
“He’ll be able to integrate himself back into some of the skills drills and actually get a little more football back into his routine.”
Nicks said it was “an exciting time” for the Crows as the Club strengthened its off-field position as well as on-field with the additions of Darren Burgess and Jordan Dawson.
“From a football Club’s point of view, we couldn’t be more excited to have such incredible support from Hungry Jacks,” Nicks said.
“The fact we are building stability off field and have such great support around us is only going to help us on field.”