Jets' big injury boost ahead of 'exciting' Finals Series return
Newcastle Jets have received a major boost ahead of their first Finals Series match in six years with Nigel Boogaard and Ronny Vargas given the green light to return.
Key defender Boogaard has been sidelined by a knee injury since March and had looked set to miss the remainder of the season, while attacking midfielder Vargas missed the Round 27 victory over Central Coast Mariners with a groin issue.
But the pair have both been cleared to play against Melbourne City in Friday night's much-anticipated Semi Final at McDonald Jones Stadium.
"They'll definitely be part of the squad and I suspect they'll play some part of the game," Jets boss Ernie Merrick said.
"Ronny is looking good, Nigel is looking very good.
"There won't be too many changes from the last game obviously when we scored eight goals against the Mariners, but there are always places up for grabs.
"We're just excited about playing a Semi Final and having just about everyone fit but Ben Kantarovski. We're in a really good position."
Friday night's match marks Newcastle's first taste of post-season action since March 2010.
And a bumper attendance is expected as the Hyundai A-League's surprise packets look to continue their fairytale rise by sealing a Grand Final berth.
"I think it's very exciting for this city for us to be in the finals like this and to play a team like Melbourne City," Merrick said.
"It'll be a big crowd hopefully and we need that crowd behind us.
"Once again they're supporting the crowd really well."