Persistent calf injury threatens A-League star’s season

Michael Zullo’s frustrating injury run looks set to continue, with Sydney FC coach Steve Corica unsure whether the fullback will feature again this season.

Zullo hasn’t played since Sydney’s opening match of the season against Wellington Phoenix at the beginning of January.

The left-back has a calf injury that Corica says he is struggling to overcome.

“He’s having a few problems with his calf,” Corica said.

“To be honest I don’t know (if we’ll see him this year), we’ll have to wait and see how he goes. He gets fit and then he breaks down again, so we have to wait and see if he can maintain his fitness.”

It’s not just Zullo’s niggly calf that’s causing Corica frustration, it’s also Sydney’s failure to finish teams off in recent weeks.

The Sky Blues conceded two late goals against Adelaide United on Sunday with the match ending in a 2-2 draw, while the week before they also conceded a late equaliser to Melbourne City.

Finishing teams off has proven a struggle for Corica’s Sky Blues in recent weeks.Source:Getty Images

“We need to beat teams above us if we want to finish where we want to finish, which is on top,” Corica said.

“We’ve had a couple of hiccups, but we have the quality to win these games.

“We got a little bit sloppy (against Adelaide). Defensively definitely we were a bit sloppy and we kept turning over the ball. If you give them a lot of ball, they’re going to hurt you. But I think we had enough chances to go on with that and really bury the game.”

Sydney face a tough trip up to the Central Coast on Saturday, where a win is crucial for them with the top of the ladder getting more congested every week.

But they will be without the influential Rhyan Grant after the right-back was sent off in the last minute against Adelaide. Grant was the last defender when he clipped Craig Goodwin and, while Corica thought the decision was soft, he is confident in the players who can cover for him.

“Harry (Van Der Saag) and (Paulo) Retre can play there, but he’s obviously going to be a big miss,” Corica said.

“He’s been going very well for us, a big player for us, so it’s not great that he’s out for a little clip of the ankle. He’ll have his rest and come back refreshed and ready to go again.”

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