Walker, Doedee to return for Crows, but doubt on Smith

·2-min read
Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS

Key Adelaide forward Taylor Walker will return, but fellow stalwart Brodie Smith is in doubt for Sunday's AFL clash against Brisbane.

Walker was rested from Adelaide's loss to the Western Bulldogs last weekend, and dashing half-back Smith is facing the same scenario.

Smith ran laps as his teammates trained on Thursday, with coach Matthew Nicks uncertain if the 235-gamer will face the second-placed Lions at Adelaide Oval.

"He is just having that management that we talk about through the week, there is some soreness there, just general soreness," Nicks told reporters.

"So we're going to keep a close eye on Brodie, how he progresses in the next 24 hours.

"Brodie doesn't miss too much, so for him to be managed this week is one we have looked at now for three or four weeks, just at what stage does he need a main session off."

Walker returns along with defender Tom Doedee, who was sidelined by concussion last weekend and looms as a swap for fellow backman Mitch Hinge, who was concussed last start.

Riley Thilthorpe has also recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the defeat to the Dogs, which left eighth-placed Adelaide with five wins and five losses.

"Riley was great today, so we'll just see how he pulls up,'' Nicks said.

"We won't lock that in, but I'm confident he will be OK."

The coach sensed a hunger from his players to respond to their lacklustre effort against the Bulldogs, who beat them by 45 points in Ballarat.

"Our main issues are now getting back to that footy that we have played throughout the year," Nicks said.

"We dropped away on the weekend ... we were a half-pace off, which can unfortunately look like you're terrible on the day.

"It's not a reality check, we know that it's the ability to do it week-in, week-out that becomes a challenge.

"The more experience you have, the more you learn and you're able to grind through a season.

"And this is the part of the season that becomes tough for everybody. You want to be doing the simple things right when you get to this part of the season."