ADELAIDE’S injury crisis has deepened, with young gun Mitch McGovern to miss two months of football with a high ankle sprain.
The 23-year-old suffered the injury in the final minute of the Crows’ five-point Showdown loss to Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval last Saturday night when he collided with team mate Richard Douglas.
That contest led to Steven Motlop kicking the match-winning goal with just 21 seconds left on the clock.
McGovern suffered a knock to the head before his ankle injury was discovered later down the line.
“First of all, we were treating him after the match from a head knock which he presented with,” said Crows general manager of high performance Matt Hass.
“Unfortunately, later in the weekend, he reported some ankle soreness which we scanned on Monday and revealed the high ankle sprain.”
“He’s since seen a specialist and we’ve decided to take conservative measures at the moment.”
“We’ll see how he presents over time and rehab him accordingly, so he’s looking to spend a period of time out.”
“Luckily, no surgery is required at this point so that’s pleasing for Mitch, which means he’ll be back slightly earlier than the surgical option.”
The loss of the high-flying forward is a body blow for Adelaide, with McGovern having returned to form with a career-best five goals in the round seven win over Carlton after a scratchy start to the season.
Meanwhile, key midfielder Brad Crouch won’t have surgery on his troublesome groin at this point in time, but the Crows haven’t ruled it out.
“Brad’s progressing slowly. We’ve got him on a strength and conditioning program now just to build up that strength and tolerance around his hip,” Hass said.
“At this point, there’s absolutely no surgery required, it’s just a slow and steady build-up for Brad to make sure he ticks a few important boxes before he really starts to build up his training load. We expect to see him later on in the year.
Crouch was most recently listed as being three-to-four-weeks away from returning, but now Adelaide hasn’t placed a timeline on when the contested ball beast will kick a football in anger again.
In other injury news at West Lakes, skipper Taylor Walker – who has already missed two games so far in 2018 because of foot and hamstring issues – is in doubt for Friday night’s meeting with the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval.
Walker injured his back and glute against Port Adelaide.
It was the key forward’s first game back after missing the clash against Carlton due to ‘hamstring awareness’.
“My back and glute have been causing me a bit of stiffness and I was getting a bit of referred pain,” said Walker.
“I will have to get through the main session tomorrow.”
Rebounding defender Brodie Smith remains sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury sustained in last year’s qualifying final win over Greater Western Sydney, while star midfielder Rory Sloane is a week-to-week prospect as he recovers from a foot injury.
In some better news for the Crows, half-forward Riley Knight (hamstring), defenders Alex Keath (ankle) and Kyle Hartigan (hamstring), and midfield duo Sam Gibson (hamstring) and Curtly Hampton (groin) could come into selection calculations this week.