Adelaide defender Nick Murray believes going through a long-term injury has helped him become a better athlete.

Murray ruptured his ACL in Round 19, 2023, but made a successful return in the Crows’ Round 15 AFL clash against Sydney last Saturday night.

The 23-year-old said the 10-month rehabilitation process allowed him to work on other aspects of his game and get himself in a strong physical shape.

“I had a pretty unique situation when I came in January (2021) and then was playing some AFL pretty early on, so I didn’t have the two years (development) that most blokes would have, putting on weight,” Murray said.

“To be able to have that 10 months to really work on what I needed to work on and get a few things right, I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can bring in the second half of the year.

“You find out a lot about yourself, obviously it had been a long 10 months and it felt really good to be back.

“I had two games in the SANFL , so I got a bit of exposure to footy there, and then to be back out there on Saturday night was very pleasing.”

Murray’s return to competitive footy through the SANFL gave him an opportunity to play alongside his younger brother, Toby, for the first time in almost a decade.

Toby was part of the Crows’ SANFL side, before impressing and being selected at the AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft last month.

Murray said his younger brother deserved an opportunity to be on the Club’s AFL list after all his hard work.

“It’s another unique situation (with Toby), for him to come over with a bit of a plan in November and then for that to be executed,” Murray said.

“We were looking more so at the back end of the year because he could get some continuity with his SANFL performances but he obviously showed enough.

“For him to be on an AFL list mid-season is a credit to him and the work he’s put in, so myself and my family are very pleased for him.

“Similar to what I did, he’s just sort of learning off the best guys, asking questions, just trying to get the absolute most out of your time there because it can be cut short pretty quickly.”

Adelaide has a bye this weekend, before its Round 16 match against GWS at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, June 29.