Bridges back for Jets

Former Newcastle Jets skipper Michael Bridges is set to play his comeback match after being included in the squad for Friday night's Hyundai A-League match against Adelaide.

Former Newcastle Jets skipper Michael Bridges is set to play his comeback match after being included in the squad for Friday night's Hyundai A-League match against Adelaide.

After retiring from football earlier this year Bridges announced his comeback three weeks ago and was set to be playing his return match against the Melbourne Heart before he suffered an illness and was sidelined for over a week.

However, he is back to 100 per cent fitness and said he is like a "kid in a candy shop" about making his comeback this Friday night in Adelaide.

"It was a bit edgy (when I announced my comeback) and the whole occasion took its toll," Bridges said.

"I was ready then but I got struck down with a bout of gastro which knocked me back but it is great to get another full week training and I am back in the squad."

"I had the butterflies at the weekend and I have got that feeling back and if I can play any part in it, it will be great."

A knee injury initially curtailed Bridges' career and he struggled with the rehabilitation.

As the new season approached he knew he wouldn't be right for the start and took the pragmatic view of retiring to allow the Jets to offer their marquee spot to another target.

But after training with the squad as a fitness measure and playing some park football in Newcastle, Bridges felt his mojo return.

"I just love football and I always said if I wasn't playing professionally I would be playing with my mates down the local park for the pub team and it was great to be out there," Bridges said.

"It played a part in getting my back here…and I have heard since I have left the team (The Mario Jardels) that they have gone downhill," he joked.

Jets coach Gary van Egmond said Bridges' role this weekend would be more of a cameo appearance as the former England under 21 striker garnered some match fitness.

"He played one game around four weeks ago around the 50-minute mark, and he played half a game in the youth team last weekend, so there is still a way to go with Bridgey, and he would be the first to admit that," van Egmond said.

"But there are plenty of positive signs on the training pitch and we just keep on working."

''He is a very smart player. He sees things that others don't see, he links up very well with other players from the midfield and he can score goals and he can create something out of nothing."

''His leadership is another thing, which is very valid. So he brings a lot of good attributes as far as the team is concerned."

In other team news goalkeeper Matthew Nash has been will play his first match of the year in place of Ben Kennedy, who has been ruled out after suffering a serious knock to the head that saw him stretchered off in the 2-1 loss to the Roar last weekend.

"Ben (Kennedy) sustained concussion previously in a game last year and he has sustained concussion again and he really struggled when he came back too early last time," van Egmond explained.

"With the lights and everything he was seeing black spots and wasn't feeling so well so our doctor Neil Halpin has ruled him out and we will heed that advice."

"Nash is fine to play and we will probably go with him over Jack Duncan just due to the fact that he has had more experience. But it is encouraging to see that the perception out there that young Jack could press for the position."

Brazilian defender Tiago Calavano also comes back from injury while Jacob Pepper has also been included in an extended squad to cover for the loss of Ben Kantarovski, who is away on Olyroos duties.