Crows braced for Lynch loss in AFL

Steve Larkin
Tom Lynch is unlikely to play for Adelaide this weekend against Fremantle

Adelaide forward Tom Lynch is near certain to miss Sunday's AFL match against Fremantle as his teammate Rory Laird also battles injury.

Lynch's side strain is expected to rule him out of the Dockers game and Laird has to prove to coach Don Pyke at training on Thursday that he can play with a broken hand.

"It's not displaced so it's not like he has got a clean crack that requires setting ... this is just a crack," Pyke said on Wednesday of Laird.

"Some people, you can play on those in a week.

"It just depends on how sore they are and how it affects either your ball-handling or your ability to do what the game requires you to in a tackle space or in a spoil space as well.

"It is really just a matter of how comfortable he can get, so we will have a look at him tomorrow and see how that goes."

Onballer Richard Douglas appears set to overcome a poke in an eye and be fit to face the Dockers.

But the Crows, in a slump of three losses in four games, will continue to be without captain Taylor Walker (back/glute) and vice-captain Rory Sloane (foot).

Walker has been sidelined for the past three games while Sloane has missed seven matches because of two separate foot injuries.

Pyke rated Walker a chance to resume against Hawthorn next weekend, before the club's bye, but Sloane won't return until after the break.

"That is more based upon the feedback we're getting from a combination of our doctors and the surgeons who viewed him," Pyke said.

"To make sure that is completely healed before we really expose it to maximum change of direction, hard push and drive off, which is where he initially had the problem."

Another of Adelaide's top-liners, Brodie Smith, will soon resume full training after having a knee reconstruction after being hurt in last year's finals series.

"He is another one that in the back half of the year we have got some decisions to make as to how ready he is," Pyke said.