Former Melbourne coach Dean Bailey has begun chemotherapy, after he was diagnosed with cancer last month. Bailey has taken leave from his role as Adelaide's strategy and innovations coach.

Crows coach Brenton Sanderson said Bailey began chemotherapy on Friday and it was unclear when he would return.

''[It's] really important that we get right behind him,'' Sanderson said on Friday.

''Our prayers and best wishes are certainly with him. We'll just give him time to ensure that he fights it as best he can and our support is certainly with him.''

Meanwhile, Sanderson said key forward Taylor Walker, recovering from a knee reconstruction, could be ready to resume against Geelong in round one. Walker was not expected to return until about round six but Sanderson said the local cult hero was progressing well.

''He's an incredible, professional athlete the way he prepares himself,'' he said. ''We're not going to take any unnecessary risks when it comes to putting him back on the field before he's ready. At this stage I think he's going to be ready for the start of the season.''