Crows captain Randall suffers ACL blow

Chelsea Randall with teammate Erin Phillips after a win in 2017. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Adelaide's AFLW premiership defence has suffered a massive blow, with co-captain Chelsea Randall to miss the 2020 season after suffering a serious knee injury at the first pre-season training session.

Randall's right knee gave way while changing direction during a drill on Monday night and scans confirmed she suffered a torn ACL, requiring surgery.

"We are shattered for Chelsea, she's obviously been our captain and an integral part of our club since the women's team was established in 2016," Crows general manager of football administration Phil Harper said.

"We will make sure Chelsea has the best medical and rehabilitation support available so that she can be fit for the 2021 AFLW season."

An athletic, rebounding defender, the 28-year-old is a two-time premiership captain, a three-time All-Australian and a three-time winner of the AFLW Players' most courageous player award.

Randall's injury is yet another injury headache for the Crows, who now have five players recovering from ACL injuries.

Fellow co-captain, two-time league best and fairest winner Phillips is working to prove her fitness for the season after suffering a torn ACL in the 2019 grand final in March.

While Phillips is on the comeback trail - and started jogging in August - it is unclear when the 34-year-old will be ready to return to play.

Youngster Chloe Scheer also tore her ACL in the same game, while ruck Rhiannon Metcalfe is recovering from suffering the same injury in a February pre-season match.

Midfielder Hannah Martin was put on the Crows' inactive list after she tore her ACL playing for the NT Thunder in the VFLW this year.

The Crows are also without two-time flag winner Jenna McCormick, who opted out of the 2020 season to pursue soccer - and recently made her Matildas debut.