Adelaide insist they’re not taking undue risks by playing All Australian Brodie Smith a week after being knocked out.
Smith trained on Friday and will play against Melbourne on Saturday provided he passes further concussion tests.
The play-making defender has surprised Crows officials with his recovery after copping an accidental knee to the head in last week’s win against Collingwood.
“He got through training today so he will go through the protocols of the testing from now on,” Adelaide assistant coach Scott Camporeale told reporters on Friday.
“He is a quality player so we would be silly not to give him as much as he needs.”
Camporeale was adamant that playing Smith so soon after concussion wasn’t a bad look for the code.
“It’s part of playing this sport; I’m not sure whether it’s bad for the sport,” he said.
“What people realise now is we have got the best medical advisory people in the game that give us the parameters that we need to work to, so we won’t risk any player.”
The ladder-leading Crows lost defender Kyle Cheney to a hamstring strain, summoning Jake Kelly for his AFL debut.
Kelly, a 20-year-old upgraded rookie, is the son of former Collingwood full-back Craig Kelly, renowned for his tough streak.
“He has done everything right; we couldn’t have asked anything more from him … he’s a competitor, most of all,” Camporeale said.
“He is obviously coming from a pretty famous football family so it was great reward for his effort over the last couple of years.”
The Crows also called up dual club champion Scott Thompson for his first match this season after missing all pre-season games with a hamstring strain.
Thompson started his AFL career at Melbourne, who travel to Adelaide without Jack Viney.
The Demons picked Jay Kennedy-Harris, seeking a repeat of last season when they upset the Crows on home turf by three points – a result Camporeale deemed irrelevant.
“Every week is a different ball game – there is no comparison from last year to this year,” he said.
“We have got a completely different team, a completely different coach, a completely different attitude.
“It’s a different mindset that (new coach) Phil (Walsh) has brought to the group.”