No rush on superstar Crow's return despite R1 loss

ADELAIDE coach Matthew Clarke will continue to trust his medical staff and take a cautious approach with superstar Erin Phillips in her return from a knee reconstruction.

Phillips – the two-time NAB AFL Women's best and fairest – will miss her second straight game to start the season when the Crows host St Kilda at Hisense Stadium on Sunday.

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The 34-year-old is keen to get back on to the field after tearing her ACL in last season's Grand Final, but Clarke said she had yet to be cleared to play.

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"There's certain things she has to be able to achieve before the medical team will consider her to play a game," Clarke told reporters on Friday.

"Just her training load and her movement and some of the things that she needs to do in her preparation.

"It's not a small decision to make, so therefore, we take it very seriously and there's no point rushing.

"I'm in no rush. When she's back, it will be exciting. Until that time, we get on that with the job."


The reigning premiers will get some reinforcements to face the Saints, with midfielder Sophie Li (concussion) and draftee Montana McKinnon (knee) added to the extended 23-player squad.

However, veteran defender Courtney Cramey is sidelined again with a groin injury, while Rhiannon Metcalfe (ACL), Chloe Scheer (ACL) and Deni Varnhagen (knee) remain unavailable.

The Crows are desperate to bounce back after going down to Brisbane by 13 points in their season opener last week.

"The beauty of the AFLW is that every game is critical," Clarke said.

"There's no rolling in and hoping you can sneak into the finals, you've got to be up and about right from the get go.

"We lost our first game last year, and that meant every week, we were on edge.

"It's a similar scenario now."