DUAL All Australian defender Daniel Talia should play at least one of Adelaide’s JLT Community Series games after making a speedy recovery from knee surgery, Crows coach Don Pyke says.
Pyke told AFL.com.au on Tuesday Adelaide’s list was in good health ahead of its opening JLT game against Port Adelaide on March 2, with Brad Crouch (groins) on track to return after a year on the sidelines, along with Talia’s defensive sidekick Kyle Hartigan (knee).
In other good news for Crows fans, Pyke was also optimistic midfielder Hugh Greenwood could overcome a lingering abdominal injury in time to play in round one against Hawthorn.
Talia had an operation in December to repair the meniscus in his left knee after tearing it while reaching for his mobile phone as he lay in bed.
With Hartigan having earlier undergone surgery on both knees, uncertainty surrounded the fitness of Adelaide’s best two key defenders as the club headed into the Christmas break.
However, Pyke said both backmen had made encouraging progress since returning to the club last month.
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“It think Daniel is now nine weeks post-surgery. From conversations in the last couple of days they’re really confident he’s tracking well to play some JLT,” Pyke said.
“He might be pushing for even both JLTs at this point, which is really positive, but he’s obviously got to get some tick-offs from the surgeons.
“Kyle is a little bit ahead of him, he’s been back in full training for two or three weeks.
“We’d expect both of those guys to play some minutes in JLT and fingers crossed, assuming nothing pops up, put themselves in the spot for round one.”
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