Garry Lyon believes Adelaide should be cautious about a return to AFL football this season for running defender Brodie Smith.
The Adelaide Advertiser reported on Friday that the 2014 All-Australian, who ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Crows’ qualifying final win over GWS last year, was keen to return to action in the SANFL on the weekend.
But Lyon believes the Crows must resist the temptation to rush the important rebounding defender back too soon, despite their finals hopes hanging in the balance.
“I don’t think they’ll roll the dice. He’s way, way too valuable,” the former Melbourne captain said on SEN Breakfast.
“Let his rehab take its course, and if it happens to stick his hand up and say he’s ready, then they’ll play him.
“Daniel Talia, Mitch McGovern, Richard Douglas, and Cam Ellis-Yolmen will come back in as well.”
Smith averaged 21 disposals in 2017 to prove a pivotal part of Adelaide’s run to the Grand Final, with the Crows sorely missing his raking right foot across half-back this year.
The Crows reignited their September hopes with a Thursday night win over Geelong, and travel to Brisbane to take on the Lions in Round 18 potentially without captain Taylor Walker who has been offered a one-match ban for rough conduct on Zach Tuohy.
Listen to the best bits of this morning's edition of SEN Breakfast with Garry and Tim in the player below