Adelaide key forward Taylor Walker will make his long-awaited return from a knee reconstruction this weekend.
Walker will play for the Crows’ reserves side in the SANFL, a year after tearing ligaments in his right knee.
“He’s getting excited, he’s getting anxious and he just can’t wait to get out there,” Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson told reporters on Thursday.
“It has been 12 months to the day practically since he played. It has been a long time coming.”
Walker’s reconstructed knee was stronger now than when he suffered the injury on April 27 last year in an AFL round-five game.
“The surgeon is happy … his knee is stronger than what it was prior to the injury,” Sanderson said.
“We have benchmarked strength testing, agility testing. He’s in a great position; he’s ready to go.
“He should take a lot of confidence in playing but I think we’ll all be holding our breath. We’ll have our fingers and toes crossed that he gets through those first few games.”
Sanderson, who said Walker would play at least two SANFL games before returning to AFL ranks, added that the training form of the club’s dual leading goalkicker was impressive.
“He’s a natural footballer,” he said.
“He hasn’t missed a beat really since Christmas and he has been in most of the competitive drills and controlled contact.
“But we have let him loose the last couple of weeks and he has looked great.
“We’re hopeful that it won’t be long before he’s back to his best.”