Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks has officially ruled out veteran Taylor Walker from the club's Round 1 clash with Gold Coast.

Walker has failed to train throughout the week due to a back injury and Nicks said he won't be risked.

"He won't play, unfortunately," Nicks told SEN.

"Not quite what we were after today, and there won't be a risk taken with that.

"It's obviously not ideal when you lose the experience of Tex (Walker)."

Walker's injury up forward is compounded by Riley Thilthorpe's absence in the senior side, with the Crows expecting the youngster to miss up to three months.

Thilthorpe hurt his knee during a pre-season game against West Coast and will force Nicks to look elsewhere to fill the void.

Suns recruit Chris Burgess is well and truly in the frame, especially given Walker's absence whilst Lachlan Gollant has put his hand up.

"Both of those players deserve the opportunity, unfortunately, it comes through someone else's misfortune in Riley Thilthorpe," Nicks said.

"But that's the way the game works.

“We have a squad mentality that the next one is ready to step up.

“We'll need that back-up ruck, and Burgess has done a lot of that over his career, Lachie Gollant has pinch-hit at times for us.”

More responsibility will turn on Izak Rankine and Josh Rachele to hit the scoreboard, while Darcy Fogarty is expected to lift his game.

After controversially missing the finals in 2023, pundits are expecting the Crows to jump into the eight.

With expectations externally set for the club, Nicks is bullish that he can take his side to September action for the first time since 2017.

"There's a lot of expectation out there, as there should be," Nicks said.

"But at the same time ... you have got to earn the right to get in there.

"That's where we're at at the moment. We're a young side, we're still developing ... but we're going to embrace the expectation."