Mariners star makes remarkable recovery but A-Leagues champs still have concerns over two others

Central Coast Mariners will host Group G leaders Bali United at Gosford in the AFC Cup on Thursday.

Mariners boss Mark Jackson given welcome boost but left to sweat over condition of two other key players.

Central Coast Mariners striker Alou Kuol is fit and back in full training after making a speedy recovery from a knee injury.

The 22-year-old went down in the first half of their Isuzu UTE A-League opening-round 3-0 loss away to Adelaide United after twisting awkwardly whilst challenging for the ball.

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Unable to bear any weight on his left leg, Kuol cut a distressed figure as he was helped from the field by club medics, with head coach Mark Jackson admitting post-game they were unsure over the severity of the injury.

However the young forward has responded well to treatment and trained fully ahead of the club’s third AFC Cup clash with Bali United at Industree Group Stadium on Thursday night.

“We got fairly lucky with it (Kuol’s injury),” said Jackson. “Having been scanned, he trained yesterday and he trained today so he’ll be in contention for the game tomorrow.”

But it’s not all good news for the reigning Isuzu UTE A-League champions with key defender Brian Kaltak ruled out of Thursday’s game after taking a knock to the knee at Coopers Stadium.

“We’ve actually had some positive news with Brian,” said Jackson. “We’ve got to reassess him when he gets back into the physio room but it’s looking a lot more positive. Hopefully he could be available sooner rather than later.”

Speaking to the media ahead of their AFC Cup fixture with Bali United, Jackson later stated the Vanuatu international is making good progress and could be fit to face Macarthur FC in the league on Sunday.

“I’d say it’s probably 60/40 at the minute until we get him back out on the field but as soon as we can do that I think the signs will be positive and that’s what we’re hoping for as he’s a big player for the team.”

Meanwhile, club captain Danny Vukovic played no part in training ahead of the matchday three fixture against Bali United but Jackson was quick to play down any fears of injury.

“He just felt a bit sick,” revealed Jackson when discussing his club captain. “He didn’t feel himself. We’re taking no risks with him it was just a case of feeling unwell, no injury for him.”

“We’ll assess him overnight and see how he is,” said Jackson. “The other two goalkeepers, Dylan (Peraic-Cullen) and Jack (Warshawsky), are ready if we need them but we’re hoping Danny will be okay.”