Adelaide’s Butts in doubt as Crows seek momentum

Steve Larkin |

Jordon Butts’ stop-start AFL season is on hold again due to another hamstring issue.
Jordon Butts’ stop-start AFL season is on hold again due to another hamstring issue.

Adelaide appear set to lose fullback Jordon Butts yet again to injury as they try to gain traction after a breakthrough AFL win.

Butts is battling a hamstring complaint and missed the Crows’ Tuesday training ahead of Friday night’s game against Essendon.

The 21-year-old suffered a hamstring ailment in the pre-season and missed rounds one and four through injury.

And while Butts completed Adelaide’s upset two-point win against Carlton last Saturday night, the key backman is in doubt to face the Bombers.

The Crows host Essendon buoyed by their first win of the season with utility Ben Keays hoping victory over the previously unbeaten Blues can get Adelaide rolling.

“The group always believed, even when we went to 0-4 there was a lot of optimism around,” Keays told reporters on Tuesday.

“We know we’re good enough and we just weren’t showing it over those first few weeks.

“There’s plenty of time to make up for that early season slump.”

Butts’ likely absence paves the way for six-gamer James Borlase to return in a key defensive post while Matt Crouch serves a one-game suspension.

On-baller Luke Pedlar looms as a potential replacement at the Crows, who have re-signed Keays for another three seasons.

Ben Keays.
Ben Keays slots home a major during the Crows’ round-three loss to the Dockers. (Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS)

Keays arrived at Adelaide after playing in just six wins in 30 games for the Brisbane Lions over four seasons from 2016.

The Crows then claimed their first wooden spoon in Keays’ first season in Adelaide, in 2020.

“I feel like I’ve seen the downs of the rebuild and now we’re sort of starting to really try and build up,” he said.

“Adelaide gave me the shot when no one else would so always really grateful for them.

“And I always wanted to pay them back with the way that I went about things, the way I prepared and trained, invest in the group.

“While we’ve got a long way to go, I feel like we’re making our steps in the right direction and I’ve felt a big part of that, so I’m really happy that they have given me the shot.”