The captain of the Adelaide Crows, Taylor Walker, has gone down with a foot injury, leaving the club with only hope that he can be ready for Round 1 of the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition.
He has a little over six weeks to recover and the Crows would prefer not to be without him, as they have drawn a road game against the new and improved Essendon Bombers to start the season.
Walker will not need surgery, but he will be wearing a moon boot to protect his plantar fascia, the ligament in the bottom of the foot than runs from the ball of the foot, along the arch and terminates in the heel.
Anyone who has ever experienced the issue cringes at the mere mention, as it is extremely painful and exceedingly difficult to heal.
The Crows will hold Walker, who for the time being, could change his surname to Limper, out of any preseason games and hope for the best.
Even after the pain subsides and all seems right, re-injury is never more than a misstep away.
The recovery period for Walker is expected to be five or six weeks. Anything less than a full recovery, combine with confidence in his foot, leaves Walker susceptible to any manner or maladies, including hamstring and knee issues.
The Crows did not reveal which foot was injured, but we can say that Walker has been in a moon boot before, when he had an issue in 2016, so either he was able to recycle the boot he was wearing on his right foot, or he now has the complete pair.
Toe and foot injuries have been a big bugaboo for Walker, but he has averaged 17 games per season over the course of his nine-year footy career and the key forward averages 2.33 goals per game.
Matt Hass, the manager of high performance for the Crows, told reporters, including some from The Advertiser, “Taylor had some soreness in his foot during training last week and after further assessment the strain was revealed. Fortunately, the injury doesn’t require surgery and he will make a full recovery after a period of rest.”