Sydney FC may leave Del Piero at home

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012
Wellington Phoenix
CHRIS SKELTON/FAIRFAX NZ
TWO-MAN TANGO: The Phoenix’s Manny Muscat gets tangled up with Sydney FC’s Alessandro Del Piero in Wellington.

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Alessandro Del Piero's troublesome right hamstring will be assessed today as Sydney FC weigh up the risk of flying the Italian to Wellington this weekend.

The 38-year-old World Cup winner had scans last night and a Sydney spokesman said the club would chew over the results today.

Sydney, languishing in last place after nine rounds of the A-League, fly to Wellington on Saturday and play the Phoenix on Sunday at Westpac Stadium.

Del Piero has been by far Sydney's most dangerous player this season and his absence would be a blow for both clubs.

New Sydney coach Frank Farina desperately needs Del Piero on the park to inspire his underperforming side, while the Phoenix need his pulling power to draw a crowd after only 5405 people watched last Sunday's 1-0 win over Western Sydney.

Del Piero limped off midway through the second half of Sydney's 0-0 stalemate with Melbourne Heart last Sunday but it is unclear whether that was simply cramp or a recurrence of his hamstring problem.

The Phoenix emerged from the Wanderers game with no fresh injury concerns.

However, back-up goalkeeper Glen Moss - who has a potential sports hernia - will meet a surgeon in Auckland today. An operation is likely to follow for the luckless Moss, who has only just recovered from a long-term adductor injury.

Victorian State League goalkeeper Griffin McMaster has signed a three-week contract with the Phoenix, which is likely to be extended.

Sydney will have Fabio available to play on Sunday after the left back escaped suspension for his crude challenge on Heart teenager Ben Garuccio.

The 17-year-old is expected to be sidelined for at least a month with ankle ligament damage.

Farina - who has replaced Ian Crook at the helm of the Sky Blues - has wasted no time throwing his weight around, axing football director Gary Cole and releasing attacker Dimi Petratos.

Farina has also brought in a new strength and conditioning coach and ordered his players to do two training sessions a day early in the week.

Sydney lost 2-0 to the Phoenix in round one but Farina said: "I can guarantee that we'll be super competitive in every game we play. I'm hitting the ground sprinting, we need to get results."

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