Taylor Walker to make AFL return for Adelaide Crows against Essendon Bombers after racism ban

Adelaide’s Taylor Walker is expected to have to deal with a hostile crowd and a lack of match fitness when he makes his AFL return from a racism ban.

Walker has been named to face an away Essendon crowd at Docklands Stadium on Sunday, having served his six-game suspension for making a racist remark about North Adelaide’s Robbie Young during a SANFL game last August.

Walker has not played at any level this year, with the AFL blocking Adelaide’s request to allow him to play trial matches.

Assistant coach Nathan van Berlo said Walker’s lack of match play was weighed against his status as a former skipper and the club’s all-time leading goal-kicker at selection.

“We will back him in, not having any match fitness to date,” van Berlo told reporters on Wednesday.

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