ADELAIDE will welcome back Tom Lynch from a hamstring injury against Carlton after five rounds on the sidelines, but his forward-line sidekick Taylor Walker is no certainty to face the Blues. 

Crows coach Matthew Nicks said Walker (ankle) would be "a last-minute decision" ahead of the Sunday afternoon clash with the Blues at Metricon Stadium. 

01:21 Mins
Published on

Match Previews R17: Carlton v Adelaide

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Michael Wall preview the game between the Blues and the Crows at Metricon Stadium

Published on

With the Crows coming off a five-day break, Nicks has also ruled out key defender Daniel Talia, who is carrying a troublesome knee problem.

SLIDING DOORS What's Damian Barrett saying about your club?

"Last time we travelled, we learned a fair bit, especially with 'Tarls', around the flights at 4am, 4.30am in the morning," Nicks told reporters on Friday.

"It's quite a challenge so we looked at this a fair way out and made a decision that look, it's a possibility... he'll prepare now for a 10-day break, similar to what we've done previously." 

Nicks was hopeful Walker's sore ankle would recover in time for Sunday's game but said assessing his fitness was made harder by the five-day turnaround from Wednesday's win over GWS. 

"At the moment you're looking at 50-50 with Tex," he said.

"Again, it's a five-day break, it's travel, but I'd like to think he gets up because he's been important to us over the last month, just from an on-field leadership (perspective), his contest in the air, I think he's in some good form. That'll be a last-minute decision."

After losing the first 13 games of the season, Adelaide has bounced back in the past 10 days with wins over Hawthorn and the Giants.

An improved midfield performance has been a key part of the Crows' resurgence and Nicks said the turnaround was due in part to skipper Rory Sloane driving clearer communication between the coaches and players.

00:42 Mins
Published on

Nicks rises off chair after win sealed

Matthew Nicks lets out some emotion after his inevitable first ever AFL victory is all but in the book

Published on

"We've really simplified back a lot of the language around the way we want to play and that came off the back of some communication from our captain during part of the season," he said. 

"We really got some clarity around what it was we were looking for from a coaching group as well as what we were after from our players. 

"I think with that clarity came the ability for...  guys like Matty Crouch and their ability to turn it around, where Matty was struggling earlier and he'd be the first to admit it; now he's playing outstanding football. 

"He seems lighter in the head, he seems to have more clarity around what it is we're looking for and he's able to go out and do that each week, and that's only one example. 

"(Rory) Laird's gone in there, we know what Sloaney brings week in week out, (Ben) Keays, (Lachlan) Sholl on the wing. 

"These guys have got real clarity around our game plan and it makes it easier for guys to perform on weekends."