Glory’s Sturridge to miss more ALM games

Prized Perth Glory recruit Daniel Sturridge is likely to miss several more weeks while he completes a mini pre-season, ruling him out of Sunday’s A-League Men clash with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

And Glory’s bid to topple the Victory have received two other blows, with skipper Brandon O’Neill still in Perth with his pregnant wife, and former Socceroos goalkeeper Brad Jones set to miss the match with a calf injury.

Sturridge made a nine-minute cameo in the season-opening draw against Adelaide, but was absent from the team sheet for last week’s 1-0 loss to Western United.

The 32-year-old is still well short of being match fit, and Glory coach Richard Garcia is reluctant to take any risks.

“How long’s a piece of string?” Garcia replied when asked when Sturridge would be ready to return even for a bench role.

“I know everyone’s wanting to see Daniel Sturridge, but we want them to see the best of Daniel Sturridge, and not Daniel Sturridge for a week and then not see him for another month.

“So we want to make sure we do the right thing by Daniel and get him fit.

“There’s no niggles at all. He’s been fine, he’s been training, he’s been pushing forward. He just needs to get fit for games, and that’s not an easy process.

“We’re tying to get him through a pre-season in a compressed time.”

Garcia urged fans to be patient while Sturridge worked his way back to full fitness.

“There’s been a lot made of it, and I don’t see why there is a lot made of it. It’s a normality of an athlete trying to get fit,” Garcia said of Sturridge, who spent about 21 months out of the game before joining Glory.

“Daniel is very keen on making an impact on the league and showing the quality he has.

“He’s a footballer, he wants to play games. So yeah, we’ve had to hold him back from that.

“But he’s also someone who is very smart with what he does with his body. He understands where we’re heading and what we’re doing.”

Jones copped a knock to his calf last week and appears set to miss the game against Victory.

And with veteran Liam Reddy still on the comeback trail from shoulder surgery, 20-year-old goalkeeper Cameron Cook is set to be thrust into the starting side for his ALM debut.

Glory have signed Nicholas Sorras as a back-up.

“He’s not travelling too well,” Garcia said of Jones.

“We’re going to leave it to the last minute to make sure we give him every possible opportunity. He’s touch and go.”

O’Neill’s partner is yet to give birth, further delaying his return to the side.