Crows lose Crouch for AFL Tigers clash

Adelaide have been dealt a blow ahead of their AFL clash with Richmond, losing injury-prone midfielder Brad Crouch to a hamstring injury.

Crouch, who has shown strong potential but struggled with injury, pulled up sore during training and has been replaced by Jarryd Lyons for Saturday’s game at Etihad Stadium.

Club doctors will decide next week whether Crouch undergoes scans but assistant coach Matthew Clarke says the Crows aren’t overly concerned.

“It’s pretty minor and it’s unrelated to the other things that have gone wrong,” Clarke said on Friday.

“It’s just footy, I think. It’s a frustrating situation but it’s a long year and we’ll make sure he’s back and ready, firing.”

Crouch has had a cursed injury run during his short career, missing all of last season with a foot injury and breaking his leg in 2014.

The 22-year-old’s strength at stoppages makes him an important midfield cog for Adelaide following the departure of Patrick Dangerfield.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has swung the axe in response to last week’s humiliating late capitulation against Collingwood.

Hardwick and his fellow selectors dumped Taylor Hunt, Jacob Townsend and Ben Griffiths, while Dylan Grimes has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Richmond have recalled Troy Chaplin, Daniel Rioli, Ben Lennon and Shane Edwards, who has recovered from a broken hand.

With Richmond the subject of heavy scrutiny during the week, Crows coach Don Pyke said he is preparing for the Tigers to come out firing.

“I would expect that following last Friday’s night game they would have reviewed that pretty heavily,” Pyke told SEN Radio.

“It was probably the one that got away from them a little bit. They’ll be disappointed and we expect them to be hitting the ground running tomorrow.”

The Crows will enter Saturday’s clash full of confidence after piling on 22 goals against a hapless Port Adelaide, driven by forwards Tom Lynch (six), Eddie Betts (five) and Josh Jenkins (four).

But Clarke said his side would look to tighten up defensively after leaking goals in their opening round loss to North Melbourne and the 58-point demolition of Port.

“I think most teams are in that same boat, they want to move the ball forward quickly and efficiently and they want to slow the opposition down,” he said.

“Offensively, for the past two weeks we’ve been really strong. Defensively, we’ve still got some tightening up to do.”

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