ADELAIDE coach Matthew Nicks hopes a fresh Josh Rachele is ready to fire against Gold Coast on Sunday.

Rachele, pick No.6 in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft, played the opening 10 games of the season, showing exciting signs – including kicking five goals on debut against Fremantle.

The forward has been sidelined since round 10 after a corked thigh and as the Crows managed him in his first year.

But Rachele will return to face the Suns at Metricon Stadium, with Jordon Butts also back for the Crows.

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Five-goal Rachele lighting up your telly

Crows debutant Josh Rachele was a shining light in his side's agonising loss with a stunning five-goal performance

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"It's good to have 'Buttsy' back in the side. He's a key pillar behind the ball for us," Nicks told reporters on Friday.

"It was a matter of getting him right, making sure he's ready to go.

"Josh Rachele was one where we've been able to freshen him up. It's a pretty big challenge for these young guys to come in first year, especially after what they've been through the past few years.

"We felt like he needed some time to freshen himself up. We think it's a long year and this will be really good for him, so hopefully he comes out firing."

Josh Rachele celebrates a goal during his side's round 10, 2022 match against St Kilda. Picture: AFL Photos

Rachele kicked 15 goals in his first 10 games to be among the leading contenders to win the NAB AFL Rising Star Award.

The Crows (4-8) will name their 22 for the clash against the Suns (6-6) at 5pm AEST.