EMERGING Adelaide midfielder Matt Crouch's preparations for next season have suffered a setback after he had surgery on his ankle.
The 19-year-old fell awkwardly during a training drill before Christmas, sustaining ligament damage in his left ankle.
He required surgery and will wear a moon boot for the next three weeks.
Crouch will now begin a rehabilitation program after consultation with a specialist on Monday and is expected to resume training in a few weeks.
"It is unfortunate, as Matt was relishing the hard work in the lead up to the Christmas break," Crows head of football David Noble told AFC.com.au.
"He was able to build a solid fitness base and we look forward to having him back as soon as possible."
Crouch, the younger brother of fellow midfielder Brad, was recruited by the Crows at pick No.23 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft and played eight games in his debut season last year.
He received a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in round five after gathering a career-best 28 disposals and 10 marks in the Crows' win over GWS.