Wil Powell goes off injured during the match between Adelaide and Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval in round 21, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GOLD Coast hopes utility Wil Powell has avoided another horror ankle injury after being stretchered off during its 28-point loss to Adelaide on Saturday.

Powell's left ankle buckled in a marking contest early in the final term, halting play for more than five minutes as medical staff attended to the 23-year-old who was in significant pain.

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It's the second ankle injury in as many seasons fo Powell after he suffered a broken and dislocated ankle in a game against the Crows in 2022.


"We're hoping it's not bone related, it might just be ligaments, so we wait for the scans," Suns caretaker coach Steven King said.

"Wil is a fantastic player for us, so to lose someone like that ... it's going to impact the way we go about it.

"The boys really care for each other as well.

"He has been in that situation before, where he has had a serious injury and there's certainly that concern you could see on the boys.

"You just hope, a) the player's welfare is OK ... then secondly, how the group is going to respond and try and lock back into a game of footy to win.

"As ruthless as that sounds, you just need to get on with it."


After Powell's injury, the Crows kicked five of seven goals to clinch a win hailed for its importance by coach Matthew Nicks.

Nicks was rapt with his callow defence, which featured debutant James Borlase, third-gamer Luke Nankervis, Mark Keane (seven games), Josh Worrell (14) and Max Michelanney (19).

Collectively, they helped keep the Suns goalless in the first term and to just three majors in each of the following quarters.

"We have been forced into that [inexperienced defence] through injury," Nicks said.

"But sometimes you look at it and go 'geez, I'm glad we've been forced into that'.

"Not because you have got guys injured, you don't wish that upon anyone.

"But we have been able to now see the depth that we have."


Adelaide lost influential backman Tom Doedee (knee reconstruction) in June, then key defender Nick Murray also had a knee reconstruction a fortnight ago, followed by Jordon Butts, who suffered a broken foot.

The injuries forced Nicks to select Keane two games ago - the Irishman played five games for Collingwood in 2020-21 but stayed in Ireland during COVID-19 last year.

Borlase, the son of Port Adelaide SANFL great Darryl Borlase, was linked to, and signed, by the Crows as a Category B overseas recruit because he was born in Egypt.

"James Borlase tonight was huge, similar to Keane the week prior," Nicks said.

"It is a large jump to AFL level but to see two guys in two weeks step up and show they can play at the level ... was really pleasing."