ADELAIDE forward Tom Lynch is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a broken jaw in the club's three-point loss to Melbourne.

Lynch was hit front-on by Demon Jack Viney early in the opening term, sandwiching him between Viney and Melbourne defender Alex Georgiou.

The clash left both Lynch and Georgiou subbed to be assessed for concussion. Georgiou returned to the field but Lynch was subbed out. 

The Crows forward was playing just his third game back from a dislocated shoulder sustained on the eve of the season, after missing the start of the pre-season due to foot surgery.

Influential running defender Matthew Jaensch also finished the game on the bench with suspected broken ribs, ending what was a horror night for the Crows.

With Lynch in form after collecting 25 disposals and booting two goals against the Western Bulldogs last week, Sanderson said losing his key forward early played some part in the shock result.

"I'm really shattered for Tommy Lynch, he can't take a trick," Sanderson said.

"Injured in the pre-season, came back and dislocated his shoulder, [three] games back and breaks his jaw.

"He's a forward that pushes really hard up and down the ground, so yeah, we lost that after his injury but that wasn't the reason we lost the game – a small factor but not the key reason.

"It did look like we lost our structure without that. "

The Crows will take a timely bye next weekend, reducing the number of games Lynch is tipped to miss to between three and five, but Sanderson said the club had several players ready to replace him.

One of those is forward Taylor Walker, who will play his second game in the SANFL on Sunday after returning from a knee reconstruction.

Sanderson also named Andy Otten as a possible inclusion for Adelaide's round nine clash against Collingwood.
"We've got a few guys playing tomorrow: Walker, Andy Otten's played forward and played that role really well, so we've got some options we'll just have to decide which way we go," he said.

Sanderson was at a loss to explain another poor start by his players on Saturday evening, allowing Melbourne to establish a 36-point lead in the second term.

The Crows were able to wrestle their way back into the contest and had a chance to draw level in the last quarter, only for acting co-captain Rory Sloane to miss a regulation set shot from 25m.

Sanderson said Adelaide had to find out why it was starting games slowly before working into its best football.

"It's a major issue for us we have to address," he said.

"Maybe we were a bit too careful early on, we're not simplifying it enough for our players perhaps?

"It feels like when we can't win that's when we start to play really well…our fans deserve better than that."