The injury issues that have plagued the Adelaide Crows since the outset of the Toyota 2018 Premiership competition are no secret, but the Crows’ quest for a flag at all costs proved costly.
They are 12th on the ladder with two games remaining and it is hard for even the most creative of us to envision a scenario where the Crows play finals that does not involve an alien spacecraft materialising and transporting the top four clubs to some distant galaxy.
Even that would leave the Crows barely inside the top eight and the remaining games with the Roos and the Blues would not seem to offer any locks for Adelaide to remain top eight.
Don’t take our word for it. Here is what former St. Kilda great Nick Riewoldt had to say with regard to the Crows playing an obviously hampered Taylor Walker in the early rounds despite Walker’s limited pre-season.
In hardly matters now, as Walker is done for the year after the MRP suspended him for the final two games of the season for a sling tackle in the game with GWS.
“It’s been a rough year and that’s an understatement,” Riewoldt said on AFL 360.“If Don Pyke knows that no matter who you are, if you don’t have a pre-season, that it’s going to be very, very difficult — well then why did you put him out there in Round One? Save him from himself.Force him to do an extra month worth of training in the pre-season because what you’re going to get back when it really counts is an improved, fit version of Taylor Walker.”
Pyke admitted to reporters that without a pre-season to prepare, the game becomes “too difficult.”
“In fairness to Tex to be honest, he’s soldiered on really bravely under lack of a pre-season,” Pyke said.
Was it fair for Pyke to play a player who was hurt but insisted on soldiering on?
The ranks of former players who are former players because they rushed back from injuries would be more than enough to staff an alien spaceship.