Adelaide midfielder Rory Laird is under an injury cloud ahead of the club's bout with Sydney this weekend after dealing with a knee issue at training, while a veteran defender is set to be axed at selection.

The Crows are in line to make several changes to their side that fell to Richmond last Thursday as veteran sharpshooter Taylor Walker (back) and livewire Izak Rankine (hamstring) enter the mix following recent injury battles.

Coach Matthew Nicks could also recall key defender Nick Murray, who has not played at AFL level this year since finishing his rehabilitation from an ACL injury sustained last July.

Murray has featured in the SANFL over the past fortnight and looks primed to take the next step and slot back into Nicks' rearguard.

Ahead of Thursday's selection for this weekend's lineup to take on premiership favourites Sydney, Laird left the club's training session on Wednesday evening after suffering a suspected knee knock, according to 7 News Adelaide.

The Crows have not commented on the extent of Laird's ailment, however any forced change to Nicks' midfield would be alleviated by Rankine's anticipated return.

Rory Laird during the AFL match between Essendon and Adelaide, Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media

Nicks will also need to weigh up whether to hand senior ruckman Reilly O'Brien a reprieve after he was dropped for Round 13, with supporting tall Kieran Strachan brought in to face the Tigers for his first game in two years.

7 News has reported that defender Brodie Smith will face the same fate as O'Brien, with Nicks to drop the 259-game veteran. It has been reported that Smith was initially set to join O'Brien in being axed at selection, only for young forward Brayden Cook's injury to prevent the unforced change.

Young onballer Billy Dowling debuted in the eight-point loss and has held his spot in Nicks' side for a second game thanks to a promising maiden performance for Adelaide.

Brodie Smith during the AFL match between Essendon and Adelaide, Round 4, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media

Forward Luke Pedlar has been pressing his case for a return to the senior side after switching to a midfield role in the SANFL, collecting 26 disposals, nine clearances and nine inside 50s in last week's loss to South Adelaide.

The Crows will name a 23-man side at 6:20pm (AEST) on Thursday for Saturday night's clash with the Swans at Adelaide Oval.

A loss to Sydney would further weaken the Crows' finals chances, placing them at least 10 points outside of the finals frame heading into their mid-season bye.

Adelaide Oval