Wayne Milera’s 2022 season hasn't been the most fluent, but he’s made his AFL return on Saturday against Geelong.
Milera, 24, played the opening game of the season for the Crows but was then banished to the SANFL after a subpar 14-disposal performance.
It’s off the back of Milera missing the entire 2021 season with a knee injury, the classy half back one of the Crows’ most important players in the seasons leading up.
Milera took to the field against the Cats on Saturday afternoon after being picked to return, despite some non-dominant SANFL performances.
However, former Adelaide player Bryce Gibbs believes the recall is because Milera is a better player in a higher standard.
“It was really confusing, wasn’t it, that they put him in for Round 1 and then they decided he wasn’t fit enough or up to AFL level and dropped him to the SANFL for (a couple of months),” Gibbs told Saturdays in SA.
“If he wasn’t ready to play, they shouldn’t have played him. Give him that couple of games continuity, then he would have come in and had more of an impact.
“I think he will play better at AFL level than SANFL level, he’s just that type of player.”
Milera has two possessions at half-time of the clash with Geelong.
However, for Milera to come back into the senior side, Matthew Nicks dropped youngster Chayce Jones.
Jones has impressed as a quick half back in 2022, averaging 13.6 disposals while also performing numerous crucial roles for the team.
While Gibbs was glad to see Milera back in the side, he was confused why it needed to come with Jones’ omission.
“He comes in pretty much a direct swap for Chayce Jones, which did surprise me, I thought Jones has had a pretty good year down back, and some of the one on one contests he's had, when Luke Brown’s been on the bench, Jones has had those matchups against Toby Greene, against Charlie Cameron, against these small forwards, and a lot of these contests, he’s actually won them,” he added.
“So for him to have a rest this week, I was a little bit surprised by that.”
Jones is the Crows' medical sub against Geelong and is yet to be activated at time of publish.
Geelong leads Adelaide by 28 points at half-time on Saturday afternoon.