THE ONGOING management of Tom Lynch's toe problem was the reason for the Adelaide forward's apparent delay in taking the field as the Crows' medical substitute on Sunday, the club has said.
Lynch took several minutes to get ready to play after injured teammate Will Hamill left the field late in the third quarter of the Crows' eventual three-point loss to Hawthorn in Launceston.
After Hamill was helped from the field, the 30-year-old didn't have his jumper on and still needed to get his foot strapped.
He didn't take the field until about five minutes into the last quarter and his impact was minimal, with just three possessions in 21 minutes of game time.
Fox Footy commentators raised questions on the broadcast about Lynch's unusually slow preparation to play but Adelaide football manager Adam Kelly said that was simply what it took for the veteran forward to be ready to go at short notice.
"We sent Tom Lynch down into the rooms to get ready to take the field," Kelly told the club's website after the Crows' arrival back in Adelaide on Sunday night.
"With Tom, as has been the case for three or four weeks now, he requires some treatment prior to being able to go out onto the field.
"What we did say was 'take the time you need to be right to play', knowing we wanted him available to go onto the field for the first rotation in that last quarter.
"We anticipated that was going to be around the five-minute mark of that last quarter.
"He was available to go onto the field about two-and-a-half minutes into that last quarter where he was up on the interchange."
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After leading by 32 points midway through the third quarter when debutant Riley Thilthorpe kicked his fifth goal, the Crows managed just two more behinds for the game as they were overrun by the resurgent Hawks.
The result leaves Adelaide ninth on the ladder after six rounds, with three wins and three losses.