Adelaide Crows laud injured Smith’s spirit

Adelaide defender Brodie Smith is being lauded for a stoic response to his AFL season-ending injury.

The All Australian backman tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee early in the Crows’ qualifying final triumph against Greater Western Sydney.

Smith will be sidelined for 12 months and miss his club’s shot at a coveted AFL premiership.

But coach Don Pyke says Smith’s response to his injury has revealed the 25-year-old’s stern character.

“Brodie is clearly very disappointed, … but he has been really stoic, to be honest,” Pyke told reporters on Thursday.

Smith participated in a meeting of Adelaide’s defensive group on Thursday, the eve of their preliminary final against Geelong.

“He’s in the backs (backline) meeting this morning with them providing his insights,” Pyke said.

“He’s obviously a player of great experience and well-regarded by the players, and has a good understanding of the game.

“He will have a minor role on game day and be involved with those guys.

“He’s as keen as anyone to see us have success which says a lot about him as an individual … as disappointed as he is, he is still right behind the team and wants them to go as far as we can.”

Pyke stopped short of deeming Smith’s injury as an inspiration for his teammates.

“He’s there to support them, is what they will appreciate,” he said.

“It’s a two-way street because they’re given an opportunity to do something which ideally he would love to do – and two weeks ago was able to do and he can’t now through injury.

“They will understand that there’s a bit of feeling for Brodie.”

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