ADELAIDE'S All-Australian midfielder Matt Crouch is set for his first game at AFL level for a year but teammate Wayne Milera's comeback has been delayed by COVID-19 protocols.

Crouch will play against Brisbane in Friday's trial game in Queensland, marking his return from groin surgery.

The Crows had just 28 players to choose from for the trial game with the remainder of their 44-strong squad ruled out by COVID-19 related health and safety protocols or injury.


Crouch, Adelaide's 2017 club champion, didn't play a premiership game last season - his sole outing at the elite level was a practice game a year ago.

"He had a really challenging year last year with groins and a lot of frustration at times which is understandable," Adelaide assistant coach Nathan van Berlo told reporters on Thursday.

Adelaide's Matt Crouch in action against Port Adelaide in the 2021 AAMI Community Series. Picture: AFL Photos

"He has been able to put forward a fair chunk of pre-season which has been really pleasing off the back of his surgery.

"He comes in to play for us tomorrow and he will have some capped minutes but with us taking a squad of 25, we will be able to spread the load quite easily."

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Milera's long-awaited comeback has been curtailed as he's among the Crows players unavailable because of COVID-19 protocols.

His most recent AFL game was in June 2020 when he suffered stress fractures in a foot.

Wayne Milera at Adelaide training earlier this year. Picture:

After recovering from that injury, the gifted utility tore a patella tendon in a knee in a trial game 12 months ago and didn't play again last year.

"He's definitely in our preparations for round one, make no mistake about it," van Berlo said.

The Crows were forced to cancel last Friday's scheduled internal trial game because of the number of players sidelined by the AFL's health and safety protocols.

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Captain Rory Sloane, prized recruit Jordan Dawson and Brodie Smith are among those to miss the looming practice match against the Lions.

"If this had happened two-and-a-half years ago, we'd be probably flipping out and pulling our hair out, to be honest," van Berlo said.

"But it has been a huge build of resilience over the last couple of years.

"It was almost expected that (impact from COVID-19 protocols) was going to happen at some point in time over the pre-season or throughout the season coming up.

"We get a couple of guys back over the next 24, 48 hours which is pleasing but it's just part of the times and you have to roll with it."