Corica blow for Sydney
Steve Corica will not be part of Sydney FC's bid for a second Hyundai A-League championship, scans confirming the veteran has a torn hamstring that has forced him into an early retirement.
Steve Corica will not be part of Sydney FC's bid for a second Hyundai A-League championship after scans revealed the veteran has torn his right hamstring off the bone.
Having announced last week that he'll hang up his boots at season's end after a career dating back to his debut with the Marconi Stallions in 1990, the 36-year-old will be restricted to the role of cheerleader as the Sky Blues look to complete the premiership-championship double in coming weeks.
Corica lasted just 18 minutes before being forced off the SFS by the injury, the midfielder having to watch on as Sydney FC beat Melbourne Victory 2-0 to lift the Premiers' Plate for the first time.
Corica will travel to Melbourne with the squad to cheer his team-mates on in the first leg of the major semi-final against the Victory at Etihad Stadium on Thursday night, before undergoing surgery the following day.
"Obviously it was very nice holding the (Premiers' Plate) up the other night but I thought I would at least have one more game and maybe two, but it's not to be obviously," a shattered Corica said at a sombre media conference on Tuesday.
"I'm disappointed, but my career was coming to and end anyway and it was a nice way to go out obviously, winning the minor premiership."
While the true extent of the injury was only discovered on Tuesday morning, Corica admits he expected bad news.
"I did (fear the worst) because it was quite painful," he said.
"I had a little bit of a problem with it for two or three weeks now. I think it gradually just built up and finally it just snapped off the bone."
"I knew pretty much when I went back out there (after suffering the injury in the eighth minute), I was struggling to run really and I don't even think I touched the ball when I went back on."
"I tried to make a couple of sharp steps and it was quite painful so I knew that was the end then."
Asked what impact he hopes to have on the side throughout the finals campaign, Corica replied: "It's going to be different obviously to what I normally do on the field - I'd rather lead by example off the field."
"But it's not possible now so I'll just do my best in the change room and around the hotel, making sure the players are ready for what's going to be a massive game."
"I need surgery on Friday when I get back from Melbourne. I want to be there with the boys and I'm looking forward to it as well because even though I won't be playing I still want to give my support to them and wish them all the best and hopefully they have a great game."
Corica added when quizzed on his team-mates' reaction to his shattering news: "I don't think a lot of them know, maybe a couple of them know but I didn't have a lot of time this morning ... but I'm sure they'll find out."
"It's sad that I'm not going to be playing but at the end of the day it's important for them to concentrate on the game and not what I'm doing."