MATT Crouch is facing an uphill battle to play in 2021 with the star Crow booked in for surgery on his troublesome groin.

Crouch, who also had an off-season operation on his right hip, has not played since Adelaide’s pre-season game against Port Adelaide at Noarlunga in March.

The 26-year-old All-Australian had been making good progress, rebuilding his training loads and had joined in Adelaide’s main training session early last week.

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However, his groin soreness once again flared and the Crows made the decision to operate after a series of consultations with a specialist and the club’s medical team.

A timeframe on his return to the field will be clearer post-surgery. 

Matt Crouch during the AAMI Community Series clash against the Power. Picture: AFL Photos

"Unfortunately, Matt's groin injury has not responded as well as we had hoped," Crows head of football Adam Kelly said.

"We had managed his training loads accordingly and he had progressed to joining main training with the group last week.

"But he has continued to present with persistent groin pain which has led to the decision to have surgery. Matt is an important player and one of our leaders so we look forward to him recovering and returning to play the quality football we know he is capable of."

Meanwhile, a decision on Ned McHenry's availability will be made later in the week after he missed last week's loss to Port Adelaide following a concussion in round eight.