Popovic still to make call on injuries

April 18, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic will give his injured players one more day to prove their fitness for Sunday's A-League grand final, saying he will make a final call on their involvement on the eve of the decider.

Popovic is sweating on the availability of key midfielder and dead-ball specialist Aaron Mooy, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since round 25 against Melbourne Heart, while right-back Jerome Polenz - who aggravated his quad injury in last week's semi-final clash with Brisbane - also remains a concern.

Fellow defender Adam D'Apuzzo's foot injury is still being monitored but star striker Mark Bridge, who missed training with an ankle injury on Tuesday, was moving freely at Friday's session.

All players trained on Friday and, although Mooy was still sporting heavy strapping on his knee, all appeared to be moving well.

"I don't know yet if these players will be available," Popovic said.

"I'll make that call tomorrow after training.

"In their minds they all want to play. But it's a grand final so we've got to make sure that the players tick all the boxes physically.

"Same with Bridge, but even without seeing him train today, I'm pretty sure he'll be fine."

The only player the Wanderers are certain to miss is crafty midfielder Youssouf Hersi, who is suspended.

This could open the door for talented youngster Kwabena Appiah-Kubi to take his place, while teen Yianni Perkatis could also be in line to play in the showpiece should Mooy not recover in time.

If defenders D'Apuzzo and Polenz are ruled out, Tarek Elrich would come in at right-back with Shannon Cole replacing D'Apuzzo at left-back.