Adelaide’s Walker on track for AFL return after injury

Steve Larkin |

The Crows are hopeful former captain Taylor Walker will be back from injury for round two.
The Crows are hopeful former captain Taylor Walker will be back from injury for round two.

Adelaide veteran Taylor Walker is tracking to return from a back injury for Friday night’s AFL fixture against Geelong.

The All Australian forward missed the Crows’ away six-point loss to Gold Coast on Saturday night.

“He is going OK,” Adelaide assistant coach Scott Burns told reporters on Monday.

“We will just have to see in full training moreso before we make any decisions on selection.

“But obviously we made the right decision not to play him on the weekend when he wasn’t quite right.

“It’s always hard with little niggles … they can really come good within one or two days and sometimes they can just linger for four or five.

“But at this stage he’s on track to play Friday night.”

Adelaide’s attack without Walker and tall target Riley Thilthorpe malfunctioned against the Suns, scoring just one goal to halftime and three until three-quarter time.

The Crows finished strongly with five goals to one in the final term, a scoring spree which substitute Jake Soligo helped spark.

Soligo played just 38 per cent of the match after replacing subdued tall attacker Lachlan Gollant midway through the third quarter.

Jake Soligo.
Jake Soligo launches the Crows into attack during the pre-season. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Burns defended using Soligo as a sub, saying the on-baller simply wasn’t fit enough to play a full game after a pre-season marred by an ankle injury.

“Because it was ankle he was basically off it for three to four weeks so he hadn’t quite had the lead-in that we would have liked,” Burns said.

“The other boys that played were rock-hard fit, they were ready to go.

“He (Soligo) was good, he showed a little bit when he came on … he is still probably a little bit scratchy, he can go up another level too.”

AAP