Fresh twist to footy medical sub drama

Following last weekend’s medical substitution controversy, Adelaide Crows star Tom Lynch has been ruled out of Saturday afternoon’s AFL game against the GWS Giants.

Facing Hawthorn at Launceston’s UTAS Stadium in round six, Crows defender Will Hamill suffered a game-ending ankle injury and was helped off the field by two trainers.

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Lynch was the team’s delegated medical substitution, but Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks could not make the switch because the 30-year-old was not ready to join the contest.

Damning footage showed a flustered Lynch rushing to change out of his training gear and get his ankle strapped before pulling on his boots and warming up in the sheds.

Lynch was still nursing a lingering toe injury — he hardly trained the previous week and needed painkillers to compete at an AFL level.

He eventually joined the contest 15 minutes after being activated as Adelaide suffered an agonising three-point loss.

Tom Lynch of the Adelaide Crows.Source:News Corp Australia

Nicks later claimed the Lynch substitution had been executed exactly as planned, but acknowledged “it wasn’t the best look”.

“Tom was fit enough to play a game out,” Nicks explained on Monday.

“Tom for the last month has required treatment around preparing for a game, so he has required painkillers to play, so we were confident he could play the game out.

“If we were able to get through the game and Tom wasn’t required to play the game that would have been a bonus, because we wouldn’t have required him to take those painkillers and he could have had a week off.”

But on Friday morning, the Crows confirmed the joint inflammation in Lynch’s toe had worsened, and he would be unavailable for the round seven match in Adelaide.

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“Tom has been playing through pain and his toe has not improved sufficiently,” Crows head of football Adam Kelly told reporters.

“We had hoped lighter training loads, coupled with limited on-field minutes as the medical substitute last weekend, would prove beneficial but unfortunately this has not eventuated.

“Tom is an experienced and important player so we have made the decision to give him some rest so he can return to the team and play at his best.”

Meanwhile, Hamill is expected to be sidelined for two weeks.

The first bounce at Adelaide Oval is scheduled for 2.10pm AEST on Saturday afternoon.

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