Struggling Adelaide have lost their two most dangerous forwards, Taylor Walker and Josh Rachele, for their AFL trip to Geelong.
Walker is sidelined by COVID protocols while rookie Rachele is battling a corked thigh and will be rested from Saturday’s away game.
Walker (18 goals) and Rachele (15 goals) top Adelaide’s goalkicking in a season rapidily slipping away after four consecutive losses.
Ex-skipper Walker was absent from training on Wednesday.
“We found out earlier this morning … unfortunately he will miss this week,” assistant coach Scott Burns told reporters.
“He is obviously a very, very good player and he has been our best in-form key forward so there’s a hole but it also creates an opportunity for someone.”
Rachele has played every game in his first AFL season but was substituted out of last Saturday night’s loss to St Kilda after copping a knock to a thigh.
“We will give Josh a breather,” Burns said.
“He has done terrifically well, Josh, to come in from round one.
“You can probably see he’s just slightly tapering off after a few more knocks and a few more hits so it’s in his best interests to have a little bit of a breather this week.”
The 15th-placed Crows, who haven’t won in Geelong since 1998, will recall fullback Jordon Butts who missed the past two matches because of COVID-related protocols.