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Pyke confident in Talia’s recovery

Don Pyke Presser December 19 Crows Senior Coach Don Pyke speaks to the media following the players' final training session of 2018.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he [Talia] jumps ahead of that schedule
Don Pyke

Adelaide coach Don Pyke is confident in key defender Danial Talia’s meticulous approach to recovery after undergoing surgery to his left knee last week.

Speaking to media at Adelaide’s open training session at Noarlunga on Wednesday, Pyke said he was hopeful Talia would be back running by mid-late January, putting him on track for JLT in March.

“I know from talking to Daniel that he’s pretty fastidious with his planning,” Pyke said.

“He’s already got dates in a calendar marked out in terms of targets to meet and I know he’ll do everything he can to make himself available.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he jumps ahead of that schedule.”

He said the post-surgery verdict from medical staff had been positive.

“They’re are really confident they’ve sorted the issue out and that gives him a chance of being available for JLT so that’s good news for us,” he said.

“I did ask him about how it happened and he said he was just lying in bed and rolled and tucked his leg in behind and it just caught.”

Wednesday’s open training rounded-out Adelaide’s three-day trip to the Fleurieu Peninsula and capped off the calendar year for the players and coaches.

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Heading into the Christmas break, Pyke said he was excited about the year ahead.

“The boys have been training really well and today was a nice little send off from the high-performance staff to tip them over the line,” he said.

“The group’s in really good shape and this year, with the extra weeks, it means we send them [into the break] with a program and a high level of trust that they’ll come back and continue the work they’ve done,” he said.

With Brad Crouch on track, Brodie Smith in good form and the addition of eight new recruits, he said his side was quietly confident in its chances of contesting for the flag in 2019.

“If we get Brad back who will be in full training post-Christmas, Brodie and we add in our  new, fresh players that all have the capacity to challenge for spots we’ll give ourselves the best chance to compete and win games,” he said.

“I’m really happy for Brad, he had a really difficult year last year and he’s had a frustrating period in his career.

“He’s excited about Christmas and coming back and getting into full training and playing footy.”

ON TRACK: Brad’s road to recovery

After a disappointing 2018 season, he said the coaching staff re-evaluated its training program before pre-season kicked off back in November.

“We looked at the program and thought how do we simplify some things and get the most bang for our buck,” he said.

“There’s strength work to do, there’s conditioning work to do, there’s game plans to understand but it’s how we do that in balance to let the players ultimately do what they enjoy doing.”