Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic will have a near fully-stocked armoury of players at his disposal for Monday’s clash with Central Coast, as strike weapon Tomi Juric prepares to return from injury.
The 22-year-old has missed the Wanderers’ past five A-League matches after injuring his knee in last month’s win over Melbourne Heart.
But the electric forward, who scored three goals in the season’s opening five rounds, re-joined his teammates for three training sessions this week.
And that has Popovic smiling.
“Once he gets this week in, if all is well and the medical department clears him, then he has a good chance to be available,” Popovic said on Tuesday.
“We want him back, of course we want him back – we want all our players available.
“But when he’s ready, that’s when he’ll be back.”
The Wanderers have been without several star players due to injury in recent weeks, including the likes of marquee man Shinji Ono, Youssouf Hersi and Brendon Santalab.
However Popovic is hopeful all – except midfielder Shannon Cole – will be available for Monday’s home game at Pirtek Stadium, partly thanks to the 10-day turnaround from last weekend’s victory over Newcastle.
“(It’s) great news,” he said.
“Shannon’s the only one that will be a doubt, but the rest are all training today and with a longer week that actually gives us a good opportunity to see whether the players have been out if they can be made available.”
But the lengthy break has last round’s winning goalscorer Mark Bridge less than happy.
“To be honest I hate it,” the veteran said.
“I wish it was only a couple of days in between games.
“But that’s football and I’m sure the coach has got a plan to keep us refreshed during this period.”