ADELAIDE midfielder Rory Sloane is expected to miss up to six weeks after fracturing the same cheekbone for the second time this season.
Sloane gingerly left the Gabba during the third quarter of the Crows' 13-point victory over the Brisbane Lions after a heavy collision with Mitch Robinson.
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Adelaide's worst fears were confirmed, with Sloane suffering a fracture to his left cheek, the same cheek he first injured against Gold Coast in round six.
He was playing his third match back.
Coach Phil Walsh said although it was disappointing, neither he or the team had time to dwell.
"I don't want to dismiss it because he's a really important player," Walsh said.
"Last week his third quarter against Hawthorn was one of the reasons we got back in the game, he's a leader of the group, but that's footy.
"I've mentioned it before, the NFL has a saying "next man up" and that's what we'll do.
Sloane was one of his team's best before the incident, gathering 15 disposals and six tackles.
"I'm disappointed for all players that get injured," Walsh said.
"We want our best players out there but I know he's a resilient fella, he'll work hard, he'll get back and hopefully he can join some of our best footy in the second half of the year."
WATCH: Phil Walsh's full media conference
Adelaide dodged a bullet with a six-goals-to-nil final term helping it erase a 24-point deficit.
Walsh said the Crows wouldn't be able to get away with such poor performances in the future.
"When our skills and our poor starts get us in a situation like that where you have to have a … let's be honest, you're not going to win too many games like that away from home," he said.
"It was a pretty frustrating three quarters but then I'm pretty proud of the group, what they came up with at the end.
"We actually were in the game if you looked at the key stats for most of the game.
"The thing I had on the board at three-quarter time, 'keep persisting, we're in this game'. They believed it to a man and I thought we saw some great leadership."