Cassio fit and ready to roll

The wait, both for Cassio and all Reds fans, is over with the pocket rocket to make his return against the Wellington Phoenix.

The wait, both for Cassio and all Reds fans, is over with Adelaide United-s Brazilian pocket rocket to make his return against the Wellington Phoenix tomorrow night.

Cassio spent almost seven weeks back in Brazil to undergo treatment and rehabilitation after suffering a significant tear or rupture to the peroneal longus tendon in the cuboid tunnel of his left foot.

He then returned to Adelaide for what Reds Coach John Kosmina has referred to as a ‘mini pre-season- to build up his fitness, and now Cassio-s trademark smile is back and he says his body is feeling in peak condition.

“I-ve done the right thing. At the end of the day it was my choice to go back (to Brazil). I spent 40 days over there and did my rehabilitation,” Cassio said.

“I-ve been back for three weeks training really hard and waiting for this chance again, and I-m really happy to play tomorrow.”

Despite having experienced and won three Carioca (Rio) Championships and a Copa dos Campeões, as well as playing in the 2001 Copa Mercosur Final in a professional career that is going into its second decade, Cassio admits to still feeling a touch of nerves ahead of his first match back since he injured his foot against the Phoenix in Auckland on November 19.

“(I feel) a little bit (nervous) because it-s been more than two months now that I haven-t played,” Cassio said.

“Playing football is the best thing I want to do in my life, and I-ve been training so hard with the boys and that-s what I-m here for, and I-ll do my best tomorrow for the club and for the supporters to win this game.”

“Of course I feel a little bit nervous because I haven-t played football in a little over two months, but I-m alright…I feel good and you use your brain a lot more than your fitness when you get over 30.”

The Reds- longest current serving player, with six goals to go with his 89 Hyundai A-League appearances to date for the club, Cassio also wanted to acknowledge the support and encouragement he has received from the club-s supporters during his recovery.

“I want to thank all of the Adelaide supporters. Since I came back they-ve been great with me as usual, and I know they care about me because they-re more worried about my foot than seeing me back playing, and I feel really happy with that,” Cassio said.

Tickets for Adelaide United-s match against the Phoenix are available through Ticketek.