Experienced pair Matt Crouch and Daniel Talia will begin the year in Adelaide’s rehab group when the Crows return to pre-season training on Thursday at West Lakes.

Crouch (hip) and Talia (knee) both underwent arthroscopic surgery during the off-season, with a view to them being available for the AAMI Community Series.

“Matty’s tracking as planned. He has commenced running and he is looking great from a gym point of view so it’s nice to have him back with some consistency now,” Crows Head of Performance Matt Hass said.

“Tals will spend the next couple of weeks away from the group while he progresses his strength and running volume.”

With a shortened pre-season block leading into the 2021 home and away season, the Crows will take a conservative approach with injury management, including with first-round draftees Luke Pedlar and Brayden Cook.

The South Australian pair battled groin and shoulder injuries respectively during their draft year and will be carefully transitioned into training with plenty of footy ahead of them.

“Luke has managed groin soreness through last season. He needs to build his strength and training volume in a more controlled rehab setting before he joins the main group,” Hass said.

“Cooky’s had a shoulder reconstruction, which we need to respect from a contact point of view. All of his running and the majority of his football skills are uninhibited.”

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Luke Brown, Andrew McPherson and Tom Lynch will also be gently eased into the main group over the next 7-10 days, with no concerns around their ongoing fitness.

“Following a few minor running repairs on those guys, we’ve just had to be a little bit conservative over the Christmas break,” Hass said.

Meanwhile, veteran David Mackay will be on the track on day one following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee bursa in November.

“DMac is flying. He’s evergreen, and runs around like a 20-year-old,” Hass said.

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Adelaide will begin pre-season training in groups of no more than 10 players after the AFL imposed training restrictions this week in the wake of COVID-19 outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria.

Subject to the results of COVID-19 tests across the competition, it is anticipated restrictions will be eased next week, with Crows players and officials undergoing their tests at the Club on Wednesday.

“For this week we’re training in groups of 10. We’ll get 20 guys out there at a time, but limited to one training surface, we will need to separate the training surface in half,” Hass said.

Paul Seedsman and Elliott Himmelberg will miss Thursday’s session after being placed in mandatory self-isolation over the Christmas break.

Seedsman was near a COVID-19 hotspot suburb in Victoria, while Himmelberg spent time in New South Wales during his holiday.

Both are expected to return to South Australia and full training in the coming days.