Adelaide wingman Wayne Milera Jr knows it is going to take some time for him to return to his best.
Milera spent the entire 2021 campaign on the sidelines with a knee injury after rupturing his patella tendon during a pre-season game against Port Adelaide.
He also managed only two games in 2020 due to a stress fracture in his foot.
The 24-year-old did return to the Crows’ line up in Round One this year, before going back to the SANFL.
Speaking at the SA launch of Sir Doug Nicholls Round on Monday, the proud Narungga nation, Gunditjmara and Wotjobaluk man said he was happy to be back playing competitively.
“I’m building some form in the SANFL,” Milera said.
“I’ve been out of the game for a long time - two years.
“As anyone would know being in rehab with long term injuries is pretty tough and you spend a lot of the time doing sessions by yourself.
“It’s been awesome just being back playing footy.”
Milera said he was slowly building some good form and would continue to work hard to earn a call up into the AFL team.
“The SANFL team at the moment is going pretty well and it’s been good to see,” Milera said.
“Last year, I was on the bench with them doing some coaching and they didn’t have quite a good year so it’s good to see some of those boys in winning form.
“The body is feeling good, but after a couple of years out of the game you forget the physical toll it takes on you.
“I’ve gone through some stuff with Nicksy that I need to work on - and that was that match fitness and a few other things.
“I’ll continue to work on that until I’m ready to go up into the AFL side.”
Adelaide’s AFL side will wear its Indigenous guernsey for the first time this year, following in the footsteps of the SANFL and AFLW teams which have already donned the jumper in 2022.
Eastern Arrernte man Pat Caruso designed this year’s guernsey, which was officially launched in January.
The design highlights the coming together of the men’s and women’s teams on their reconciliation journey, as well as acknowledging the impact that the many members of the Crows family have left on the Club since 1991.
“One Club is the main message around Pat Caruso’s design and he’s done a brilliant job,” Milera said.
“The girls wore it as well and the SANFL team has already worn it as well.
“I know the whole Club really loves it.”
The Crows SANFL side will also wear its Indigenous guernsey this weekend in its Friday night blockbuster against Woodville-West Torrens.
Adelaide takes on St Kilda in its 2022 Sir Doug Nicholls Round at Adelaide Oval on Saturday at 7pm.