Update: Each top-six club's injury worries

It is coming towards the end of a long Hyundai A-League season and it’s often fitness that plays a crucial part when the knockout stages get underway.

With plenty of long flights in store for the six clubs set to take part in the Final Series, injuries will come sharply under focus.

We’ve compiled a scouting report for the fans to have a look at how their club and those they may face are tracking heading into the final round of Hyundai A-League action.

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Adelaide United

The Reds are largely injury free, although Ryan Strain remains an ongoing doubt. 

Strain suffered a hamstring injury in late March and has not fully recovered, throwing his involvement in the Reds’ finals campaign into doubt.

Marquee striker Baba Diawara returned to the side for the ANZAC Day fixture at Brisbane Roar after a lengthy absence, and marked his comeback with a goal in the Reds' rollercoaster 5-3 win. 

Ryan Strain
Ryan Strain is battling to be part of the Reds' finals campaign

Melbourne City

City have been without inspirational skipper Scott Jamieson for several weeks after he suffered a broken toe against Sydney FC in Round 22.

The 30-year-old was named in City’s extended squad for last Sunday’s match against Wellington Phoenix but failed to make the final cut.

He is expected to make a return against Central Coast Mariners for City’s final game, but manager Warren Joyce is understandably treading lightly with his only natural left-back. 

Central defender Bart Schenkeveld is also slated to return to action against the Mariners, having recovered from a groin strain suffered in training. 

Youngster Moudi Najjar remains a long-term absentee and is unlikely to be seen in a City shirt at Hyundai A-League level again this season.

Ritchie De Laet and Scott Jamieson in training as Warren Joyce watches on.
Warren Joyce will tread carefully with captain Scott Jamieson (centre)

Melbourne Victory

From one Victorian club to another, and Kevin Muscat must have breathed a huge sigh of relief to be able to include James Troisi in his matchday squad for Saturday's visit to Western Sydney Wanderers after his key attacking midfielder suffered a potentially season-ending hamstring tear during their 1-0 loss to Adelaide in Round 26.

Having overcome injury scares for Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen earlier in the campaign, the Victory's medical staff have earned a healthy bonus after pretty much clearing the physio room ahead of the Finals Series. 

Carl Valeri (hamstring), Terry Antonis (left knee) and Lawrence Thomas (knee) all made Hyundai A-League returns from injury against Adelaide, while Corey Brown is also back in the frame. 

Troisi
James Troisi: speedy recovery?

Perth Glory

The newly-crowned Premiers left a host of players back in Western Australia for their Round 26 visit to Sydney FC.

Among those were injured stars Chris Ikonomidis (shoulder), Juande (groin) and Jason Davidson (knee) but all are expected to be fit for their final regular-season match against Wellington Phoenix at HBF Park on Sunday.

Glory have little left to play for, however, so don't be surprised to see Tony Popovic give them another fortnight off to fully recover ahead of their semi-final.

A fully fit Chris Ikonomidis can be the difference for Perth, as he was back in Round 2 against Victory

Sydney FC

Much like Big Blue rivals Victory, Sydney have been hit hard by injuries over the course of this campaign – but Sky Blues’ casualty list has had a longer-term look.

Rookie manager Steve Corica lost Trent Buhagiar to an ACL injury before a ball was kicked, with Ben Warland (ACL) and Chris Zuvela (ACL) joining him in the sick bay over subsequent months. 

Imports Siem de Jong (various) and Jop van der Linden (hamstring) have also spent time on the sidelines for the Harbour City outfit, while Michael Zullo is currently sidelined by a hamstring problem. 

Alex Brosque
Alex Brosque should recover from his foot injury

Retiring skipper Alex Brosque again misses out with his heel problem, after standing down for the midweek AFC Champions League match against Shanghai SIPG, but is expected to be back for the Finals Series. 

Wellington Phoenix

It is largely good news for departing coach Mark Rudan, with his only current injury worry surrounding Louis Fenton, who was ruled out for the season earlier this month after breaking two toes in his right foot in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle Jets in Round 23. 

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