Tarka rues playing with injury

Perth defender David Tarka says he regrets attempting to play on through the pain of a quadriceps injury he received during the first round this season.

Perth defender David Tarka says he regrets attempting to play on through the pain of a quadriceps injury he received during the first round this season.

The club's 2006/07 Most Glorious player said that after a year on the sidelines with a badly torn hamstring, he pushed himself too hard to play five matches earlier this season despite aggravating a nerve in his quadriceps each time he kicked the ball.

Tarka's subsequent lack of mobility, a serious foot injury to Hayden Foxe and Dino Djulbic's suspension all combined to leave the Glory's defence severely undermanned and vulnerable over the first seven matches of the campaign.

But the towering defender said he's glad to have taken a month off to get his body right, saying he feels he can now contribute to the Glory's backline as the club pushes for a maiden finals berth over the last 10 rounds.

"My performances at the start of the year weren't to the level that I'd like," Tarka said before training on Tuesday.

"I'd like to think that the quad had a major bearing on that."

"I know the potential that I've got and the capacity that I can play at and I wasn't reaching that."

"I missed a year of football and I think, what do you do, you want to play, you put your hand up, your team needs you and I guess, I was letting myself down and letting the team down."

"So I took that time off now to get it right and be 100 percent," he said.

Tarka said that after tearing his hamstring from the bone in the first round of the 2007/08 Hyundai A-League season, he regarded the quadriceps injury as just a minor annoyance and felt he could play through the pain regardless.

But he said he became increasingly frustrated with the injury after being dropped to the Glory's National Youth League side during mid-October, especially as many commentators were suggesting his demotion came as a result of a rift between himself and coach Dave Mitchell.

"It was a kick in the teeth and really disappointing," said Tarka. "As far as I'm concerned there was nothing to sort out (with Mitchell)."

"People were questioning my commitment to the team but when you're carrying an injury that people don't know about, you can't compete at the level you want to."

"For me individually, I felt I was trying (but) I felt that my body was letting me down."

"So I've taken the time off to really settle it right down and it feels strong so I'm looking forward to enjoying my football and getting out and playing to the capacity I know I can."

Tarka said he probably wouldn't be coming straight into the senior squad for this weekend's clash with Queensland, and would return through the Glory's National Youth League side, which is also playing against the Roar this weekend.