Mariners' Aloisi hopes to face Victory - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mariners' Aloisi hopes to face Victory

By Guy Hand 24/12/2007 06:05:15 PM Comments (0)

Socceroos striker John Aloisi is confident he will be fit for Central Coast's A-League clash with Melbourne Victory on New Year's Eve, but two other Mariners joined the club's long list of unavailable players after bad news from doctors.

Aloisi had scans in Adelaide on Monday which cleared him of any structural damage to the knee he hyper-extended during the Mariners' epic 5-4 loss to Sydney FC last weekend.

But midfielder John Hutchinson and Greg Owens will join defender Dean Heffernan - who broke his leg against Sydney FC - and suspended duo Danny Vukovic and Adam Kwasnik on the sidelines for the Victory match.

The club said Hutchinson would miss at least one game with a knee injury, while Owens will miss at least the next two matches with his knee injury - and possibly longer.

Owens faces more scans next week to find out the full extent of his problem.

Aloisi will spend Christmas with his family in Adelaide, but the club said on Monday they were confident the striker would be able to play against the Victory.

He was forced off in the 59th minute of Saturday night's A-League classic after twisting his knee - just one of a truckload of sensations in a match which has been ranked the best ever played in the competition.

The World Cup hero's experience will be needed for the league leaders, who have gone from being at full strength to dire straits just five weeks out from the finals.

But coach Lawrie McKinna said he would at least have enough replacements to cover his heavy losses, and a nine-day break between matches does allow the Mariners more of a recovery window.

"Midfielders (Andre) Gumprecht, (Bradley) Porter and (Damien) Brown are all available and the way our injury toll is looking, the good thing is we'll have enough players for a squad," he said.

"Our job now is to bounce back. It will be really good for us to have an extra couple of days. It doesn't matter what 11 players we put out there next week, we'll be confident we can go out and get a result."

The Mariners still lead the A-League by three points, but second-placed Queensland could close the gap this weekend if they beat Perth and the Victory can conjure a result at the Central Coast.

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