Mariners send injured McCormack back to Aston Villa

Central Coast Mariners have confirmed star striker Ross McCormack will return to parent-club Aston Villa for further assessment on his knee injury.

McCormack, who is on a one-year loan deal with the Mariners from the Championship club, has missed Central Coast’s last two matches after picking up a knee injury in training.

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He’ll return to England to be assessed by Villa’s medical staff, with the club hopeful he’ll be back in Gosford before Christmas.

“We’ve decided to send Ross back to Aston Villa to check in with a specialist,” Mariners boss Mike Mulvey said.

“We expect him back just before Christmas and the best situation we can see at this stage would be having Ross eligible for selection for our New Year’s Eve game against Perth Glory.”

McCormack is not the only injury concern for the struggling Mariners at the moment.

Tommy Oar is currently sidelined with a knee problem, with Mulvey confirming he’s likely to return for the F3 Derby against the Newcastle Jets on Round 9.

There’s better news for attacker Jordan Murray, who should be available for this weekend’s trip to Wellington Phoenix.

Young defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis, who played his first game in the youth team on the weekend after an ACL injury, and Corey Gameiro (calf) are more long-term problems.

“He’s an absolute consummate professional, I love his attitude and he has been diligent with his recovery,” Mulvey said of Aspropotamitis.

“It was great to see him play 65 minutes in the Youth League on the weekend. We will give him another run out with the youth team on the weekend and we hope he will make even better strides this weekend.

“Corey is another one that I’m sure fans are keen to see make his A-League debut in Mariners colours.

“He is working hard to return from a calf injury and we’re confident that we will have him back to full team training around that Christmas period.”

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