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Lowden's Achilles heads in the wrong Direction

Adelaide ruckman Luke Lowden
He probably trained two days in a row on a really hard surface that's given him a small setback
Phil Walsh on Luke Lowden's Achilles

ADELAIDE ruckman Luke Lowden isn't even being considered for round one due to an Achilles injury that was aggravated – albeit indirectly – by boy band One Direction.

Lowden was carrying an Achilles injury when he joined the Crows along with Kyle Cheney from Hawthorn last October and hasn't featured in the NAB Challenge.

The injury occurred when the club was forced off AAMI Stadium due to One Direction's concert at the venue on February 17.

In order to run closed training sessions the Crows trained at nearby Thebarton Oval, but the surface was so hard in comparison to Max Basheer Reserve or AAMI Stadium that it had to be abandoned after just four sessions.

Walsh insisted the move back to West Lakes was no hit on Thebarton Oval, which often hosts SANFL training sessions throughout the summer.

Lowden has since returned to full training but needs more conditioning before he'd be ready to play.

"He won't be available for us round one of the AFL," Walsh said.

"He came to the club with an Achilles and we've had a couple of guys with Achilles [injuries] this pre-season.

"With Luke, he probably trained two days in a row on a really hard surface that's given him a small setback.

"We ended up moving back, we came back to Max Basheer (Reserve) because of it – we did penetrometers and we got readings."

With One Direction long gone, the Crows will take to AAMI Stadium on Saturday for their NAB Challenge finale against Port Adelaide.

Superb performances from Eddie Betts against North Melbourne and Patrick Dangerfield against Geelong have secured their places in the club's round one side, but Walsh said they were the only guaranteed starters.

He said he still needed to see "some things" from a number of Crows players to convince him they were deserving of a place in the starting 22, as well as from the side as a whole.

He wants higher disposal efficiency against the Power than was delivered against the Cats last Thursday.

"The main thing last week that I wasn't happy with was our skill level, so I'd like to see improvement in that," he said.

"Up until last week I was pretty happy with our skills; obviously we monitor what we kick out at training and we'd been well above other kicking efficiencies of other clubs I'd been at previously.

"Yeah [this is a naturally skilled team] but it's a little bit of fool's gold because we're only competing against ourselves [at training], so it's only as good as whatever pressure we can apply."

Saturday's pre-season Showdown at AAMI Stadium starts at 3.40pm (local time).