Wanderers injury troubles ease in A-League

March 24, 2013
By James MacSmith and Simon Furey

Iacopo La Rocca may have played his last game for Western Sydney this season but the Wanderers' injury worries, including key midfielder Shinji Ono, have eased ahead of their maiden A-League finals appearance.

La Rocca was given a straight red card for striking Sydney FC's Terry Antonis in Saturday's pulsating 1-1 draw at Parramatta Stadium and coach Tony Popovic conceded his key utility is likely to be sidelined for some time.

"It was a clear red card, a definite send off," Popovic said.

"A straight red usually means more than a week."

The A-League match review panel will likely decide La Rocca's fate on Monday, the same day Ono is expected to undergo scans on a groin strain.

A ban of three weeks would rule La Rocca out of the Wanderers' final round match against Newcastle on Saturday at Hunter Stadium, their semi-final and the grand final, should they progress.

But Popovic was more buoyant on the future of Ono who was replaced during the Sydney derby draw, which brought the Wanderers' record 10-match winning streak to an end.

"It's a groin ... the other leg ... he will have scans to see how it is," Popovic said.

However it is understood the Wanderers expect Ono will be back on deck for their semi-final in two weeks.

The injury is not a recurrence of the hamstring complaint which had the Japanese international sidelined recently.

Jerome Polenz (quad), who sat out the match with the Sky Blues, is also expected to be fit for the Wanderers' home semi-final in the second week of the finals series.

Captain Michael Beauchamp (quad) and midfielder Aaron Mooy (knee), who were also unavailable for the Sydney derby, are expected to be fit for the match with the Jets.

Defender Adam D'apuzzo (foot) is the other injury worry for the A-League ladder leaders. He is also likely to go for scans on Monday.

While buoyed by the impressive form of his replacement local junior Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, the Wanderers will welcome back Youssouf Hersi from suspension to meet the Jets in their last regular season game.