FORMER Carlton star Bryce Gibbs will return to Adelaide's side for the first time since round one as the Crows chase their maiden win of 2020.
Gibbs, who joined the Crows as a high-profile recruit at the end of 2017 after the club's Grand Final loss to Richmond, has been out of the winless Adelaide side since its opening game against Sydney.
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But coach Matthew Nicks has called on the midfielder's experience as the competition embarks on its fixture cram, with the 31-year-old to take on 17th-placed North Melbourne on Saturday at Metricon Stadium.
"'Gibba' will play which is one I think we're all waiting for. Last week we spoke about how he performed on the field and we've been really pleased with what he's been doing off the field with his leadership and working with our younger group," Nicks said on Friday.
"We thought his performance on the weekend was enough to warrant selection coming into quite a challenging period for us in managing players. The group was excited when we announced that earlier in the week."
The Crows won't risk defender and stand-in captain Tom Doedee with his hamstring injury, and have also lost midfielder Brad Crouch to a hamstring strain from last week's defeat to Essendon.
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Adelaide had hoped youngster Darcy Fogarty would be available for the clash after missing the past month with a shoulder injury, but Nicks said he had just run out of time. The talented forward is a chance to line up against Melbourne next Wednesday.
"He trained really well this week but we're going to hold off another four days possibly. We'll have a look at him into Melbourne, and we'll see what that looks like for him and how he progresses. He's pretty much getting everything he can on the track, including wrestling, so we're confident he's right on the doorstep," Nicks said.
The Crows are edging closer to their first win of the season and under Nicks' reign, with tight back-to-back losses to St Kilda and then the Bombers. The new coach said he was seeing the wheel turn for the club.
"We've felt in the last few rounds that...there's a progression with where we're heading," he said.
"We went in with a winning mentality [last week] and we'll do it again this week, and we'll go again the week after."