April 05, 2015 09:34:35 UK
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold fears Socceroos midfielder Terry Antonis may not be back before the end of this season.
Antonis was one of the league’s most outstanding players in the first half of the A-League campaign and earned a recall to the Australia squad for the Asian Cup.
But the 21-year-old returned from that tournament with a knee problem that Arnold says hasn’t got any better in the past two months.
It’s a big blow, a player of that calibre not available at this stage of the season. He’s had a couple of injections and they haven’t worked.
Antonis was forced to pull out of the recent Olyroos tournament with the injury and has missed the last three games for the Sky Blues, who are 5.00 to win the Grand Final.
Arnold said: “That kid just has no luck with national team football. He came back (after the Asian Cup) a mess. We haven’t been able to use him properly since he went away.
“It’s a big blow, a player of that calibre not available at this stage of the season. He’s had a couple of injections and they haven’t worked.”
The Sky Blues, who are 2.80 to win their next game against Perth Glory, are sending the classy midfielder for an MRI to determine whether he has a chance of being back in action before the end of the campaign.
Arnold added: “The concern for me is the last three weeks we haven’t been able to use him and the three or four weeks before that we could only use him off the bench and it’s not getting any better.”
Sydney face being without Senegal international Mickael Tavares for a spell after he picked up a groin strain in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Adelaide United.
It was the Sky Blues’ fifth defeat at Allianz Stadium this season, while they remain unbeaten away from home.
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