Adelaide Crows, Richmond, Rory Sloane, injury, knee, club statement

Adelaide is sweating over Rory Sloane’s fitness after the captain and ball thrower suffered a potentially serious knee injury in his side’s 19-point win over Richmond on Saturday.

The Crows picked up their second victory of the season in the 15.11 (101)-12.10 (82) triumph at Adelaide Oval, earning victory thanks to a five-goal run from former captain Taylor Walker.

But the victory was spoiled when Sloane walked off the field with the help of medics in the final quarter, after his right knee bent in a gruesome ground collision with Richmond defender Nick Vlastuin.

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Adelaide high performance manager Darren Burgess said in a Crows statement that Sloane would be sent for testing and undergo further evaluation.

“We don’t know yet…fingers crossed,” Crows coach Matthew Nicks said in his post-game press conference.

A frustrating run with injury limited Sloane to 12 AFL games in 2020 and 18 last season, while Saturday night resulted in his second substitution in his last three games.

The 32-year-old also missed the Crows’ epic third-round win with an adductor problem.

“It’s been a tough time for him…it just seems to be one thing after another,” Nicks said.

“But he keeps coping…he’s pushing his way through. He’s exactly what we want to be as a football team.”

Laird finds a frontier gem

Walker scored three of his five goals in the first time out and shredded his fourth shortly after the quarter break.

Fellow countryman Elliott Himmelberg was also influential on his way to four goals.

Ben Keays (31 eliminations), Rory Laird (26 possessions, one goal) and Matt Crouch (26 touches) played central roles for Adelaide, while Richmond were led by Dion Prestia (27 eliminations) and skipper Trent Cotchin (24 possessions, one goal).

The 11th-placed Tigers and 13th-placed Crows both won two games and lost three.

Adelaide will meet 2021 grand finalists Western Bulldogs in the sixth round, while Richmond is set for a clash with reigning premiers Melbourne.

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