Sky Blues face mounting ALM absentees

A mounting injury toll, COVID-19 infections and international call-ups have left Sydney FC undermanned for their A-League Men game against Central Coast on Sunday.

Coach Steve Corica won’t be able to call on defenders Rhyan Grant and Joel King and goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne due to Socceroos commitments, while Patrick Wood and the already-injured Kosta Barbarouses have tested positive for coronavirus.

With long-term injuries to Luke Brattan (ACL), Michael Zullo (calf), Calem Nieuwenhof (groin) and talismanic striker Adam Le Fondre (hamstring) set to miss another week, the Sky Blues’ depth is set to be severely tested.

“COVID has not been too kind to us, we’ve got the Socceroos out and a few injuries,” Corica said.

“It’ll basically be the same squad from the Melbourne Victory game.

“Patrick tested positive on the rapid so we’ll see what happens when he gets the PCR test.

“(The other one) is possibly Kosta Barbarouses. He’s obviously not playing at the moment.

“We’re expecting Adam to be back for the Adelaide game (on February 4).”

Zullo was expected to make his return to first-team action towards the end of January.

But Corica revealed the 33-year-old, who hasn’t put together a full 90-minute performance since November 2020, had re-aggravated an existing calf problem.

“He has been getting closer but he had a bit of a hiccup which has probably set him back a bit,” Corica said. 

“He’s going to get a scan on his calf and we’ll go from there.”

Corica said mid-season recruit Mustafa Amini was likely to see more game time against the Mariners after featuring in three cameos off the bench.