ADELAIDE has lost key midfielder Matt Crouch to injury as last year's wooden-spooners prepare to blood two debutants against Geelong on Saturday.
Crouch will miss the season-opener, and possibly longer, because of hip and groin issues which have lingered since having off-season hip surgery.
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"Matty has pulled up a little sore through the hips and the groins and just lacked the power that he was after today during the (training) session," Crows coach Matthew Nicks told reporters.
"From more of a medium, longer term view, we didn't want to take a chance this week.
"(It's) a little bit of setback for Matty but more management for the time being to make sure we don't put him out there and he can't perform at his best.
"It's a tough one for me to put a (recovery) time on it.
"The power is the issue for a player, it's more about him being able to push off and get the power he wants, especially in the position that Matty plays - he's an inside mid and he uses that strength and that ability to accelerate."
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Adelaide will give debuts to fresh draftees Sam Berry and James Rowe against the Cats at Adelaide Oval.
The Crows welcomed Berry with pick No.28 and Rowe at pick No.38 at last year's NAB AFL Draft.
But Nicks and his selection committee opted against debuting the club's highest-ever draft pick Riley Thilthorpe, the No.2 selection last year.
"We thought about round one ... there's a certain amount of guys that you would love to get in and play at the level," Nicks said of Thilthorpe.
"It's a matter of how many (debutees) do you want to get into a footy side or you're lack of probably experienced leaders.
"This week we go up against the most experienced team in the competition so on the balance of how we went about that, it led to Riley not playing this weekend.
"He's a really exciting part of our future but we just want to make sure we don't rush him."