ADELAIDE will again leave Bryce Gibbs on the outer for this week's clash with Essendon, but the Crows expect to call on the former Carlton star during the cramped upcoming fixture.
Gibbs was named in the Crows' extended squad on Thursday night to face the Bombers but coach Matthew Nicks confirmed he will not make the final side.
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The Crows will manage Ned McHenry's workload and rest him for Sunday's clash at Adelaide Oval, with small forward Lachie Murphy to come in.
However Gibbs, who hasn't played for the Crows since their round one loss to Sydney in March, won't play. The 31-year-old's contract with the club expires at the end of 2021.
"Bryce won't play this week but he's in the squad. Same as last week, he's pushing for a spot," Nicks said.
"There's a fair bit coming in the next two or three weeks where there's going to be some management that we haven't seen before and, obviously, he's sitting right in that spot at the moment and he's going to help the group."
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Forward Darcy Fogarty is expected to be unavailable for at least another week as he recovers from his shoulder injury.
The under-siege Crows are chasing their first victory for the season, after getting within nine points of St Kilda midway through the last quarter of Monday's game (the Saints ran away late with a 23-point win).
It was Adelaide's 10th loss in a row and cemented it as the club's worst start to a season in its history, but Nicks said he was seeing a shift in the Crows' attitude and was confident a breakthrough win was coming soon.
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"Behind the scenes and off-field, we're making progress. There's some really positive stuff going on, and there's small wins we have off-field," he said.
"Obviously we are in an industry where results are what we're chasing. We're not getting those results on the field at the moment. It's frustrating for everyone but we're sticking tight.
"We're seeing some really strong growth off-field. There's some positive stuff that we're about to see break through. We've got some more players who are playing well in our practice matches who we'll get a look at in the coming weeks with the challenging draw.
"Ultimately, we're doing a lot of work, we're not quite getting the reward at the moment, but I'm sure it won't be far around the corner."