Emerging Adelaide tall Riley Thilthorpe has revealed his "body is in a much better place" ahead of his third season at West Lakes, conceding he had 'ran himself into the ground' last year.

The 20-year-old, 202cm ruck-forward hybrid managed just the 11 appearances for the Crows in 2022, having battled ankle and knee injuries across the course of his sophomore season in the AFL.

Following an impressive debut campaign, Thilthorpe admitted he underwent a somewhat loose off-season plan that eventually hindered his 2022 season in the long run, stunting his development as a key position player.

At the end of last season, the Goodwood product placed more attention toward how he treated both his body and mind in the off-season, with Thilthorpe already seeing results early into the pre-season.

“I had a decent first year but really wanted to build on that and ended up hurting myself in the long run,” Thilthorpe told afc.com.au.

“It was my first off-season, so I didn't really know what to expect but I've learnt so much from that off-season and I'm really grateful I went through that.

“Now I know a lot more about my body and where I'm at, so I wouldn't change anything.

“(This year) I was just smarter with how I planned the off-season with the running and all that and I didn't really work myself into the ground as much, so the body is in a much better place.”

The 2020 No.2 National Draft pick firms as a key piece in Adelaide's new-look forward line that is sure to wreak havoc in the league in the coming years, with young small forwards Izak Rankine and Josh Rachele to work at ground level under Thilthorpe and Darcy Fogarty as the Crows plot their return to premiership contention.

Thilthorpe believes he's on track to enjoy a career-best year in 2023, having faced no interruptions this pre-season following a frustrating few months both on and off the field.

“It was very up and down and I learnt a lot from it,” he said, speaking on his 2022 season.

2020 AFL Draft Media Opportunity
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 10: Riley Thilthorpe of the Crows poses during a media opportunity following the 2020 AFL Draft at Adelaide Oval on December 10, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

“I obviously would've loved to play a full year of AFL but I definitely got a lot of learnings from it.

“I haven't missed a training yet…  I'm excited for next year.”

Thilthopre has booted 26 goals from 25 AFL matches in his first two seasons in the league, while also pinch-hitting in the ruck to aid the workload of veteran tall Reilly O'Brien.

2023 could see Thilthorpe utilised further up the field, with Fogarty, Taylor Walker and Elliott Himmelberg also fighting for minutes in Matthew Nicks' attack.

The Crows will begin their 33rd AFL campaign against GWS at GIANTS Stadium on Sunday, March 19 next year.