A-League: Jack Rodwell sidelined for several weeks

Former English Premier League star Jack Rodwell’s ongoing injury problems remain a source of frustration for Sydney FC.

The ex-Everton and Manchester City defender/midfielder is set to be sidelines for eight weeks after injuring his calf in the Sky Blues’ 2-1 last-start win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

Rodwell’s A-League career has been littered with injuries since moving to Australia in 2021 and joining the Western Sydney Wanderers, who he left in August 2022 to link with Sydney.

His latest injury is extremely untimely for the Sky Blues, who are also without sidelined trio Robert Mak (groin), Joel King (toe) and Aaron Gurd (broken leg) for a host of games, including Saturday night’s “Unite Round” battle with Adelaide United at Allianz Stadium.

“This has happened previously with Jack as well,” Sydney coach Ufuk Talay said.

“He’s a great player – when he’s on the park.

“It’s disappointing because I think he’s a very influential player for us.”

Rodwell’s latest soft-tissue injury has come despite him having been on a modified training schedule.

“It’s one of those things. It’s just the way his body is,” Talay said.

“You try to manage as best we can, but we can only work off how he feels and what his body does as well.”

Talay refused to blame a patchy Suncorp Stadium for the injuries of Rodwell, Mak and King.

“I don’t think the pitch played a role with the injuries as it was the same for both teams,” said Talay, who promised there would be no “excuses” if his resurgent team failed to secure a fourth successive win on Saturday night.

“I don’t like excuses. “The injuries are what they are but that is why we have a squad and we have players that can come in and do a role.

“This gives opportunity for players to come in and step up, and keep the jersey on their back.”

In the most recent meeting between the teams, Sydney thrashed Adelaide 5-1 at Coopers Stadium on November 11 in Talay’s first game in charge of the Sky Blues following the sacking of Steve Corica.

Reds coach Carl Veart said his players were intent on making amends for the embarrassing home loss.

“The players were very disappointed with that performance,” Veart said.

“We’re going through a good patch of our performances, we just need to start scoring goals and start rewarding good play with some more points.”

One player who won’t be making the trip to Sydney is 19-year-old attacking weapon Bernardo Oliveira, who is set part ways with Adelaide in the hope of securing more first-team football.

“Bernardo has made himself unavailable for the squad. He just wants his future to be somewhere else,” Veart said.

“It’s very frustrating. We’ve had a lot of belief in Bernardo, and football is a difficult game, and you have ups and downs. You have to keep pushing yourself to be your best and unfortunately, it hasn’t worked.”

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