Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks insists out-of-favour veteran Bryce Gibbs remains part of the AFL club's plans for this season.
Gibbs left Carlton to join the Crows after the 2017 grand final, when both player and club were brimming with optimism that he could help them go one better the following year.
The midfielder played 22 games in 2018, but was repeatedly dropped by former coach Don Pyke in 2019 and managed just 12 matches that season.
Gibbs is once again struggling to get a game, having been overlooked by Nicks since the end of the league's COVID-19 shutdown.
The pair had an honest conversation on Thursday about where Gibbs stands at the last-placed team, who bookmakers expect to collect the wooden spoon in 2020.
"He's after clarity ... we had that conversation yesterday," Nicks told reporters.
"He's got the ability and experience to help us on field from a leadership point of view. At no point is Bryce in a position where he's not going to play.
"He's right there. He's knocking on the door.
"He's training really well and if he continues to do what he's doing off the field with our young group, he'll get his opportunity and he'll add to us."
Nicks confirmed Gibbs wouldn't play in Sunday's clash with Fremantle, the other only team yet to register a win this season.
"Last week he was in our squad, this week he's not. I know there's a lot of talk around it, don't read too much into a squad," he said.
"We want him to play this week in our seconds game. We want him to play because we need to get games into him."
Nicks is more focused on the Dockers, who will be without inspirational skipper and reigning Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe because of a hamstring injury.
"As a coach you smile because he's such a good footballer, but at the same time they'll step up," he said.
"(Michael) Walters will now get a bit more responsibility and freedom to go through the midfield.
"They're a very good side. They're not all about Nat."
Australian Associated Press