Jordon Butts in action during the round five match between Carlton and Adelaide at Marvel Stadium, April 13, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ADELAIDE key defender Jordon Butts is out injured and fellow backman Brodie Smith in doubt for the round six battle against Essendon.

Butts is sidelined after a knock to his hamstring last time out, while Smith was on restricted duties at match-eve Thursday training because of back soreness.

"(He was) just a little bit sore from the weekend so it was a light session for him," Crows coach Matthew Nicks said of Smith.

"We're hopeful he will be fine, we're reasonably confident."

Brodie Smith kicks the ball during round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Nicks will summon six-gamer James Borlase to fill Butts' fullback post for Friday night's Adelaide Oval fixture, but ruled out highly rated draftee Daniel Curtin from making his AFL debut.

Curtin, who the Crows manoeuvred to secure with pick No.8 at last year's draft, will remain in state league ranks - for now.

"You're never that far away ... he's playing some good footy at SANFL level," Nicks said of the 19-year-old West Australian.

"There is no rush from our point of view to throwing him in, but we're really pleased with how he's developing.

"Before you know it, we will be sitting here talking about Dan and ... I am confident he will play footy this year at AFL level."

Daniel Curtin with Mark Bickley after being selected at No.8 by Adelaide during the 2023 AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium on November 20, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Nicks was still mulling over a replacement for Matt Crouch, who will serve a one-game ban for rough conduct - the Crows considered appealing against the punishment before moving on.

Former skipper Rory Sloane remains in the wilderness after eye surgery.

"He's just working his way through now the physical and mental side of what is getting back in to footy," Nicks said.

"There will be no time frame put on that from our point of view.

"He's a champion at this footy club and we'll make sure that he's able to make that decision in his own time."

Rory Sloane is seen at Adelaide training on March 8, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Asked if Sloane, a 255-gamer who turned 34 last month, remained a genuine playing proposition this season, Nicks said: "They are the conversations we have weekly."

"He's out there working, working probably mainly around the goggles and how he's able to wear those and compete and fight inside," Nicks said.

"But he's been training all our main sessions, not full contact at this point - that's probably his next step.

"When he's at full contact and putting his head in the hole, it's going to be a challenge for him.

"He has got a lot of good people around him that will help him make that decision."