March 19, 2015 12:53:51 UK
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has revealed young midfielder Terry Antonis has been battling through a knee injury in recent weeks.
Antonis has only lasted the full game once in the past six matches, being used off the bench in four of those appearances.
The 21-year-old earned a call-up to the Socceroos squad for January’s Asian Cup, though he did not see any game time.
Since then the only time he has seen out the full match was the 4-2 win at home to Central Coast Mariners last month.
Terry Antonis the last few weeks has been struggling with a knee injury.
He has made an impact off the bench, scoring a late winner in the 4-3 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers six minutes after being introduced.
Antonis is shortly off to play for the Olyroos in their qualifying campaign for next year’s Olympics, with Friday’s home game with Melbourne City the last before he reports for international duty.
Arnold, whose side are 4.33 to win the Grand Final, said it was good that he had recruited Senegal international Mickael Tavares on a short-term deal to help them through the time Antonis has been struggling.
“We’re grateful Mickael’s here and he’s doing very well for us,” said the Sky Blues coach.
“Terry Antonis the last few weeks has been struggling with a knee injury. He’s had another injection yesterday so to be able to have Mickael here with us is fantastic.”
Earlier in the week, Tavares said there were clubs in Australia and Europe keen to sign him for next season and added he was waiting for Sydney to make him an offer.
Arnold said it was made clear to Tavares that he had been signed as an injury replacement player.
“If we can make the deal work so he can stay then we’d love to have him for a longer term, but Mickael was clear when he came out that initially it was for six months as an injury replacement,” he added.
If Sydney beat City and other results go their way this weekend they could take over top spot for the first time in five years.
Sydney FC are 2.00 to beat Melbourne City, who are 3.60 with the draw 3.60.
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