Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks expects key defender Danial Talia back early in the 2021 season, but made no assurances for Round One.
Talia underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in the offseason and has steadily built his fitness during the Crows pre-season.
Yet to return to full training, Nicks told Triple M’s Roo & Ditts that the Crows No.12 wouldn’t be rushed back for Geelong.
“He’s doing a lot of work at the moment through rehab and is pushing himself to the limit,” Nicks said.
“Coming back into training will be interesting for him because he’s been working so hard, but it’s a different dynamic when you get into that unprepared change of direction that is in footy.
“It looks like he’ll be in next week from a training point of view.
“If we fast track him… I don't think we’ll take too many risks with Tals, if it does come down to Round One.
“We may look to Round Two or Three.”
Talia will miss Saturday’s trial match with Port Adelaide however young forward James Rowe is set to feature.
The mature-aged recruit led the SANFL for goal-kicking in 2020 and will take part in his first Crows match against an opposition side.
“A couple of years can make a big difference (in a recruit),” Nicks said.
“He’s played at the SANFL level where he excelled and was hugely influential with his side (Woodville-West Torrens).
“The best part about Jimmy is that he’s wide open to anything, he wants to develop and he’s a worker… we don’t have to waste time teaching him how to work.
“He’s exciting, he knows where the goals are and he’s one of those players who if he gets an opportunity within 50 metres he scores more often than not.”
Adelaide will take on Port Adelaide on Saturday in a trial match at Alberton Oval from 11am ACDT.
A SANFL trial match between the two Clubs will be played beforehand at 8.30am ACDT.
Note: Supporters will not be allowed entry to Alberton Oval under an AFL directive.