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Brad's unlucky break

Breaking Brad: Brad Crouch Injury Update Brad Crouch gives us an update on his fractured fibular and talks about his younger brother's performance in his AFL debut on the weekend.
When the doctor felt it he said to me, ‘I think it’s cracked through the fibula’ and he was right.
Brad Crouch

Young midfielder Brad Crouch says he was just in the “wrong place at the wrong time” after suffering a fractured fibula in Adelaide’s Round Two Showdown loss.

Crouch sustained the injury in a seemingly innocuous collision with an opponent in the final quarter. The 2013 Rising Star runner-up finished the game on crutches and scans revealed a break in his leg.

“I got an accidental knee from Brad Ebert. He came in and tackled me and his knee crunched into my leg after I handballed the ball away. It just got me in the right spot. It didn’t take a lot. It felt like someone had hit me really hard in my leg, but when you look back at the footage he didn’t hit me that hard at all,” Crouch said.

“It was a really weird feeling and it wasn’t excruciating pain. I just felt a little bit of pain, like a corkie, but as I put my leg down I could feel it crunching and knew something wasn’t right. When the doctor felt it he said to me, ‘I think it’s cracked through the fibula’ and he was right.”

Crouch, 20, avoided surgery on the injury.

The skilful onballer will have the moon boot protecting his left leg removed on Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, he hopes to be back playing within five weeks.

“I was happy not to have surgery and the doc thinks I’ll be out between 4-6 weeks. If I can get back within 5-6 weeks I’ll be pretty happy,” he said.

“The first couple of weeks have been off my legs. Over the next week or so, I’ll get back walking and, hopefully, start jogging after 3-4 weeks.”

The injury was an unfortunate blow for Crouch, who was playing only his third AFL game back from a pre-season Achilles complaint.

“It’s a little but unlucky, but there’s not a lot I could do about it,” he said.

“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The only way to look at it now is that I’m lucky it’s only 4-6 weeks. A lot of broken legs are a lot longer.

“I can still play a lot of games this season.”

Crouch is hopeful one of those games with be alongside brother, Matt, who made his AFL debut against Sydney at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

The younger Crouch sibling started as the substitute, entering the game in the second quarter after veteran midfielder Scott Thompson was ruled out with a badly corked thigh. ‘Junior’ Crouch collected 18 possessions and laid four tackles in a competent debut.

“I was proud of Matt playing his first game. I thought he did pretty well when he came on as sub. It was good to finally see him out there in the Crows colours in an AFL game,” Brad said.

“I haven’t spoken to him too much about the game. He did say a few things just about how strong a couple of Sydney’s midfielders were. Being just out of the Under-18s system, it’s hard to come up against men.

“He did pretty well and, hopefully, that experience will help him in the next few weeks.”

Matt replaced the injured Brad in the Crows team last week.

In Round One, Brad effectively pushed Matt out of the side when he returned from injury.

“There’s something stopping us playing together at the moment,” Brad said with a laugh.

“Hopefully, later in the season we can play one or two games together.”