Out: Sydney FC skipper Alessandro Del Piero (right) clutches his hamstring before limping off against Newcastle on Friday night. Photo: Brendon Thorne
Sydney FC will know by Wednesday whether Alessandro Del Piero has sustained a serious injury after medical scans were delayed until Tuesday afternoon when the swelling of his leg is hoped to have reduced.
The Italian veteran was forced off the field for the second time this season when he limped to the bench before play stopped during the first half after feeling pain and a tingling sensation through his left leg. Del Piero was to undergo scans on Monday but the club's medical staff opted to postpone them until late on Tuesday due to the swelling.
Sydney's captain might not be risked for their match away to Central Coast Mariners this weekend although midfielder Matt Thompson believes his absence will not be a significant blow to their ambitions of extended their winning streak to five games. Thompson hit back at suggestions Sydney are a "one-man team", citing their win over Newcastle Jets as proof that they can score in his absence.
"Alex would be the first to sit there and say that we could do a job without him," Thompson said. "Obviously he's a fantastic player so we want him playing, simple as that, but we not only proved to ourselves but probably the media, I guess, that it's not necessarily the case, and we work well as a team whether he's out there or anyone is out there. We've got a strong 23 players in our squad, anyone can do a job and we showed that on the weekend."
Del Piero could be rested for the Mariners game as a precaution even if cleared of any long-term damage to hamstring. His withdrawal will add to the club's growing list of absentees with defender Tiago Calvano suspended and Brett Emerton, Marc Warren and Corey Gameiro all doubtful due to injury but Thompson said the toll wouldn't disrupt their momentum.
"To be honest, no, not really, because we've played games without those players this year already and don't quite well. Nothing changes this week, we've used little [Chris Naumoff] out wide left and Joel [Chianese] stepped up as well. Matty Jurman came in on the weekend played like he's played 10 weeks," Thompson said.
Sydney have risen to joint second spot on the A-League table as a result of an impressive home record – four wins in five games. Their home record is one of the best in the league, but Thompson is wary that it could count for little if they don't start registering results on the road, beginning with the trip to Gosford.
"We made it clear at the start of the year that home games are important for us," Thompson said. "We want to make sure that when teams come to Allianz that they're in for it, so far it's been quite good. Look, it's an important game for us this week, Central Coast are obviously a fantastic side, and they've proved that over the last five, six years so it's a big game for us."