Former Adelaide captain Taylor Walker has returned to official training with his AFL teammates for the first time since being banned for making a racist comment.
Walker joined teammates at Adelaide's West Lakes headquarters on Wednesday for his first club-organised training session since his suspension last August.
He has served three matches of his six-game ban for making a racist remark at a state league game.
Walker's offence occurred while he was a spectator at an Adelaide reserves game - he made the remark to Adelaide's Matt Crouch at quarter-time.
His comment wasn't heard by its target, North Adelaide's Robbie Young, but a Crows trainer reported it to officials.
Walker, Adelaide's all-time leading goalkicker and club captain from 2015-19, and Crows hierarchy considered his playing future before deciding to play on in 2022 - the last year of the 31-year-old's contract.
Walker had been training privately with some Crows players before joining official training on Wednesday when the club's first-to fourth year players returned.
"He was received really well by the group," teammate Ben Keays told reporters.
"It was a difficult time for the club.
"And not having him playing as well is difficult on-field as well as the off-field stuff.
"It was just one of those things that we had to ride out and we threw out support behind Taylor and behind all the boys at the club, so I'm really glad that he's back and it's business as usual."
Keays said Walker, who was named by his AFL peers as the league's best captain in 2016 and 2017, was his "normal presence" at training.
"He has been around the group all off-season," Keays said.
"When you see what he has done at his age, season after season, especially how he started last season, I think that just goes to show that he ... is always going to show up and be ready.
"He is professional and the main thing is he drives the group to be professional.
"He is already out there using his voice as he has done probably his whole career."
Australian Associated Press
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