Van Dijk eyeing Mariners comeback

Sergio van Dijk has as good as conceded that he will miss Friday match against Newcastle but is already setting himself for a return the following week.

Adelaide United FC striker Sergio van Dijk has as good as conceded that he will miss Friday night-s match against the Newcastle Jets due to a calf injury but is already setting himself for a return against the Central Coast Mariners the following week.

After suffering a calf tear in the first half against Gold Coast United on November 11, van Dijk was staring at being out of action for up to three weeks.

Speaking about the progress of his rehabilitation today, last season-s Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner indicated he is likely to only miss two games and is focusing on being back for the visit of the Central Coast Mariners to Hindmarsh Stadium on December 2.

“It-s going well, it-s progressed a lot but I don-t think it-s going to be ready for this Friday-s game,” van Dijk said.

“I wish I could train today and try some things out but I think it-s a little bit too early. In saying that, it-s going really well and I just want to be fully fit for next week.”

Knowing the sensitivity and risk of coming back too early, particularly from a calf injury, van Dijk is not rushing his comeback and over exerting himself to try and be a chance of facing the Jets. Rather, he wants to ensure he is a certainty to be available for selection to tackle the Mariners.

“This game (against Newcastle) just comes a couple of days too soon and there-s also a risk, I don-t want to make it worse and be out for a longer period, so I think the coach, myself and the medical staff have decided to be cautious and focus on the next game,” the scorer of 43 goals from 86 Hyundai A-League appearances said.

Prior to van Dijk-s injury, Reds fans were just beginning to see the growing on field chemistry between he, fellow striker Bruce Djite and Reds- number 10 Dario Vidosic. Van Dijk admits his setback has been disappointing as it has temporarily halted the understanding the trio were starting to build, but he remains positive in the fact that he is only missing two games.

“That-s the downside of having an injury but at the moment I-m happy that it doesn-t take too long and that-s why I-m actually more positive about it,” Van Dijk said.

“Of course I-d rather be on the pitch but I could have been out for longer and this is only two weeks and I see it in perspective that I have team mates who were out for six months, so I can-t complain about anything.”

While van Dijk may be a week away from returning, Milan Susak and Evgeniy Levchenko have been training with the main squad and appear likely to be available for selection to take on the Jets.

Tickets for the match are available through Ticketek.