Adelaide fans hoping their side get off to a good start in the AFL this season can breathe a sigh of relief after forward Ian Callinan’s knee injury turned out not as bad as first feared.

The 30-year-old, going into only his third year of AFL in 2013, was subbed off at quarter time during the Crows’ Round 3 NAB Cup clash with Carlton, having sustained a knee knock during the opening throes. Fellow forward Jason Porplyzia also came off second best during the tie, the 28-year-old heading to hospital vomiting and complaining of stomach pains.

There was concern over the weekend Callinan would not be fit for Adelaide’s season opener with Essendon but after a quick recovery, medics have put the injury down as a sprain rather than anything too serious.

The news can only come as great relief for Adelaide fans, for there were rumours over the weekend that Callinan had suffered a medial ligament strain.

As for Porplyzia, and unexpected stomach ulcer is reportedly to blame for his feeing unwell, which should also be cleared up by Round 1.

As far as Adelaide’s forward makeup going into the new season is concerned, the Crows will need both Callinan and Porplyzia to continue or even improve on their output in previous seasons. With Taylor Walker being the only established big body in the Adelaide forward line with Kurt Tippett making a much-publicised move to Sydney, it will be up to the second string of forward to pick up the slack whilst Walker bears the brunt of the best defenders in the competition.

With Callinan and Porplyzia combining for 69 goals in 2012, there’s no doubting that the pair could easily come close to covering Tippett’s 31 goals. Now that youngster Josh Jenkins has been presented the opportunity to fill Tippett’s shoes, the reshuffle could even see a larger goal output than that of last season.

With Adelaide set to welcome back their forward pair for the 2013 AFL season opener at the AAMI Stadium, Crows fans can be confident of gaining a good early footing on the ladder. Predicted to finish in the top six and certainly pushing for a top four position, a win at home against a club desperate to make finals in Essendon would be just what the doctor ordered.

Last time out, Adelaide won a narrow clash against the Bombers by four points in front of 40,000 fans. Porplyzia got on the goals himself that day and will want to open his 2013 account in spectacular fashion this March, whilst for Callinan, just being fit enough to play is a blessing compared to what was feared.