ADELAIDE'S two-point escape over Melbourne in Darwin on Saturday could come at a cost, with co-captain Rory Sloane in doubt for next week's clash with Greater Western Sydney.
Sloane (hamstring) exited the game early in the second term after a contest with James Harmes, and coach Don Pyke was unsure whether the gun midfielder would be fit to face the Giants.
CROWS STEAL A WIN Full match coverage and stats
"It looks a fairly low-grade one, but he wasn't able to come back on, which probably puts him in some doubt for next week," Pyke said.
"But we'll get a scan and let you guys know once we know the status of that."
The Crows faced the prospect of three defeats on the trot, firstly when they trailed by 31 points in the third quarter and again when Demon Sam Weideman lined up for goal with only seconds to go.
Weideman's miss from about 45m instead drifted to the left to seal Melbourne's fate and Adelaide's thrilling come-from-behind triumph that maintains its top-eight position.
WATCH The thrilling final two minutes
"Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield – and tonight we end up the windshield," Pyke said.
"Fortunately Weideman misses the shot with 30 seconds to go. That's the nature of the game. It's so even, it's so close and fortunately he misses the shot and we get a win.
"We're elated. We didn't play our best footy by any stretch and I thought we just hung in there really and I was really proud of the effort the guys put up to give themselves a chance to grab a win."
Returning stars Tom Lynch, Josh Jenkins and Bryce Gibbs – the latter two after SANFL stints – all played their role, with Gibbs putting the clamps on Demon Clayton Oliver in the third quarter, in particular.
The 30-year-old's repeat demotions have attracted significant attention, but Pyke was pleased with what he saw from him against Melbourne.
"Oliver was doing a fair bit of damage in that first half, then 'Gibba' went onto him and was able to really nullify his influence, which is great," the coach said.
"Some of the things we've been talking to Bryce about; for him to be able to do that was a real feather in our cap."
Pyke praised his players' ability to persist despite failing to hit any great heights, other than some individual standouts, throughout the night.
"We didn't play our best tonight, but there were some guys who played some really good games for us, I thought, and as I said, we just hung in there," he said.
"Melbourne came out really hard early and scored freely, especially out of their back half, and that was a concern to us.
"The longer the game went, we were able to stop some of that, but when you win by two points, sometimes you just end up in front when the siren goes."