Adelaide defender Alex Keath requires surgery on a leg fracture that puts a trade with the Bulldogs on hold, as reported by The Age.
The 27-year old nominated the Dogs as his preferred destination this off-season with the Saints also showing interest.
Both Victorian clubs discovered a crack in his shin after medicals and recommended surgery, with Keath convincing the Crows to book him in.
“We can report tonight that Alex Keath has actually undergone surgery last week on a crack in his shin that was found by both the Bulldogs and the Saints when they did their medicals,” Sam McClure told The Age Real Footy Podcast.
“The Crows knew about the injury before the Round 18 game against Essendon. In a scan, they found a small stress fracture … in the bottom of his shin, just above his ankle.
“The Crows are saying it’s not an uncommon injury and that it can be managed without surgery. He did actually continue to play, managing his loads and managing his pain.
“But fair to say the Dogs made it quite clear that if they were going to give him a long-term deal at pretty good money, he had to go under the knife immediately.”
Keath has reportedly been forced to cancel a holiday to get the surgery done, which will sideline him for at least three months.
His delay to pre-season means the Dogs will resist the Crows’ push for a second-round pick.
“He’s since undergone surgery, even though the Crows believe he didn’t need it — and he’ll be out, the Dogs think, until at least January,” McClure added.
“It’s pretty significant for a club that’s picking him up. It doesn’t change the deal that they’ll be giving Keath, but it does change how they value the trade. It dilutes his value … I think the Dogs would say it gives them more leverage.”