Injury news: Key men return for Sydney, Jets dealt big blow
Sydney FC have been handed a major fitness boost ahead of Friday evening's Hyundai A-League Round 23 clash with Brisbane Roar.
Steve Corica’s side are set to welcome Siem de Jong and Daniel De Silva back into the fold for their trip to Queensland (kick off 7.50pm AEDT).
Former Newcastle United attacker de Jong has been nursing a knee injury sustained after scoring the winning goal in Sydney FC’s 1-0 Round 15 victory over Wellington Phoenix in January.
De Silva, also felled in a 1-0 win over Phoenix, returns from an elbow injury suffered in February’s Round 20 meeting with Mark Rudan’s side.
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“We’re looking to have Siem and Danny De Silva back,” Corica told the club’s official website.
“That’s great for the fans and for the players. To get them fit, ready for the run-in home, we’ve got five games to go plus finals and champions league games as well so it’s good to have them back and pushing for a spot.
“We’ll see how the game goes and how many minutes they get. The boys have only been back training for a couple of weeks so they’d have to be off the bench [on Friday night] if anything.
“They’re two quality players who can change games, we’ve missed them and we’re looking forward to them returning.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle Jets will have to manage Saturday’s do-or-die clash with Wellington Phoenix (kick off 5.35pm AEDT) without star man Ronald Vargas.
Having missed Rounds 19 to 21 with a hamstring injury, the Venezuelan playmaker returned for Newcastle’s 3-2 defeat to Central Coast Mariners in Round 22.
But the injury has flared up after Vargas’ second-half cameo, with Jets’ boss Ernie Merrick admitting he had probably sent the 32-year-old back into action prematurely.
“He’s pulled up a bit sore, his hamstring isn’t going to be ready,” Merrick told the club’s official website.
“I probably brought him in a bit too early [against the Mariners], it was my decision but we needed to do it, we needed to change.
“When he did come on the pitch he scored a goal and he was holding the ball so well
“There was nothing to lose really, we thought it might make it [the hamstring] a little worse but we had two weeks to recover.
“As it turns out he hasn’t recovered.”