Adelaide players and coaches breathed a collective sigh of relief at Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening when Brodie Smith slipped off a neck brace and sang their team song.
Smith, arguably best afield in the Crows’ 27-point win over Collingwood, was knocked out cold in the fourth quarter of the AFL clash.
The 23-year-old was tackled to the ground by Taylor Adams when his head collided with Travis Varcoe’s leg.
The impact was jarring and the footage hard to watch, with Varcoe still in pain after the game.
Smith was taken off the field on a stretcher, but regained consciousness and was able to belt out the song with his teammates.
“It didn’t look great,” Crows coach Phil Walsh said.
“I never like it when a player goes down.
“Brodie’s up and about now. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but we’re hopeful he’s ok.”
Adelaide’s Brent Reilly suffered a fractured skull when a teammate’s knee struck him on the side of the head in a training drill during February.
The Crows are confident Smith has avoided structural damage, but the utility could nonetheless miss next Saturday’s clash with Melbourne at Adelaide Oval.
“We’ll stick to the protocols. Whatever the doctors tell us, we’ll go by,” Walsh said of Smith, who finished with 30 disposals, eight inside-50s and one goal.
“We won’t take any risks with our players.”
Crows veteran forward James Podsiadly hurt his back in Saturday’s SANFL clash, but the news was better for Scott Thompson who excelled in the seconds.
“He’s an important player to our club and someone we want to get back into the team,” Walsh said of Thompson, who missed the opening two rounds of the season with a hamstring injury.