RORY Sloane has vowed to play on in 2023 despite confirmation that the Adelaide skipper had ruptured the ACL in his right knee in the 19-point win against Richmond on Saturday.
Crows officials feared Sloane, 32, would be ruled out for the rest of the season after initial assessment of his knee injury and scans on Sunday confirmed the bad news.
Sloane has played 232 games in his 14 seasons and will turn 33 before he plays his next senior game.
"For me at 32 doing a knee is not ideal but it’s a great challenge to come back fitter and healthier, it’s a little reset on the body for me to go again," Sloane said.
"I’ve seen my sister Shae go through it before and I have been inspired by her positive attitude and diligent approach to her rehabilitation.
"Saturday night was an incredible result for us as a team, we’ve been building and that was a good, solid grind against a quality side, so while I’m obviously disappointed I won’t be on the field for the rest of the season I will be doing everything I can off it to help us keep improving."
Adelaide's high performance manager Darren Burgess said it was a "bitterly disappointing" result for Sloane and the team.
"He is one of our most important players and as our captain his influence on what we do is obvious," he said.
"But typical of his character he is already speaking positively about the challenge in front of him and I have no doubt he will attack his rehabilitation the same way he approaches his football – with the utmost professionalism and determination and we look forward to him returning to the field next year.”
Sloane played only a dozen games in 2020, and 18 last year after a string of problems including a foot injury and a detached retina.
This season, he was subbed out in two of his last three games.
"It has been a challenging period for him ... it just seems to be one thing after the other," Crows coach Matthew Nicks said.
"But he keeps fronting up ... he just grinds his way through. He is exactly what we want to be as a footy team."