Crows leaders to stay home for AFL launch

Crows leaders to stay home for AFL launch

BY ROGER VAUGHAN

ADELAIDE leaders Taylor Walker and Rory Sloane will be notable absentees from the AFL’s season launch as they aim to be ready for round one.

Walker, the Crows captain, is upbeat about his prospects of recovering in time from a hamstring injury for their season opener against the Giants.

A fractured eye socket meant vice-captain Sloane did not play in any pre-season matches.

The captains are required in Melbourne for Thursday morning’s annual media call, followed by the season launch in the evening.

But Walker and Sloane will stay in Adelaide as they continue to receive treatment.

While Richmond are yet to confirm their leadership group, Trent Cotchin is certain to be reappointed their captain.

Walker joined Adelaide’s long pre-season injury list when he suffered hamstring tightness in last Saturday’s match against Brisbane.

“I’m confident and will do everything possible to play in round one,” Walker said on Wednesday.

“I’ve got an enormous amount of confidence in our PP (physical performance) staff.

“And the plan is to play round one so we will be tracking towards that.”

Walker and vice-captain Rory Sloane are Adelaide’s biggest injury concerns leading into the club’s round one match against GWS on March 26.

Adelaide’s high performance manager Matt Hass said Sloane’s round one prospects would rest with a surgeon’s report on the healing of the eye socket.

Adelaide midfielders Brad Crouch (hamstring) and Scott Thompson (shoulder) and defenders Jake Lever (hamstring) and Kyle Cheney (groin) are unlikely starters in round one.

And St Kilda veteran Leigh Montagna will also sit out his club’s opening fixture against Melbourne as he recovers from a calf muscle injury which sidelined him for all three pre-season games.

“I will probably miss round one … I’m not far away at all,” Montagna told Fox Footy.

“This time of year, the last thing you want to do is re-injure it.”

Also on Wednesday, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson revealed young midfielder Jonathan O’Rourke has suffered another hamstring injury.

The setback will put O’Rourke out of action for up to a month.

O’Rourke also hurt a hamstring last season, when he played seven senior games.

© AAP 2017

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