Injury-ravaged United set to welcome back stars for finals campaign

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Adelaide United coach Marco Kurz has welcomed the return of key players Ben Halloran and Nikola Mileusnic in recent weeks with more on the way to boost Adelaide United’s A-League premiership claims.

Star wingers Nikola Mileusnic and Ben Halloran have made a timely return to a United team which has been wrecked with injury and are set to give the side a big boost heading into finals.

“Very important [on the return of Halloran and Mileusnic], I think both players are special because they have a lot of speed which makes them dangerous for opponents, now for me as a coach I must set-up the best team for tomorrow but also some players need fitness for the next games. It is always a bit of a puzzle what is the best for a game but also to improve players after long injury,” he said.

“Absolutely because the high-quality from the both of them is the speed and most of the defensive lines don’t have the speed that these two players have,

“[Bert] Schenkeveld is a different level, maybe the fastest centerback in the league, he’s very comfortable and a brilliant player but you must defend this speed and it is not too easy,” he said.

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In further good news, United can expect to welcome back a trio of first team players from injury lay-offs just in time for the end of the season and the beginning of the upcoming A-League finals series.

“I start with Ryan Strain because he is far away from team training but it looks good, he started running midweek and it looks good, now we have to improve him up step-by-step with the higher intensity but it looks good that we will have a chance to get him fit for the last seasonal game

“I expect that he have no chance to get him back but now it looks like we have a little chance to get him fit, it looked like he’d be out of the trainings but now it looks like he might be fit for the last game and also for the finals as well,” he said.

“Very positive is that Baba [Diawara] and [Jordan] Elsey both players trained the whole week, full, with the team that means after a long, long time they had no reaction after these sessions, they are in a good way. We will see how the next week runs but it looks like one of them will be available for the squad for the next home game,” Kurz said.

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Baba Diawara hasn’t been seen in a United jersey since round 2 of the A-League when he came on as a substitute for Ken Ilsø before succumbing to a knee injury.

Jordan Elsey last played for United in the round 19 fixture against Western Sydney Wanderers after suffering a foot fracture which has ruled him out of the matchday squad till now.

Both players are unlikely to feature in this week’s game against Melbourne City but may be in the frame for a return against Melbourne Victory on 19 April.

Feature image: Phil Radoslovich

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Adam Daunt
A student at University of South Australia who hopes his writing disguises his lack of sporting prowess and a fan who masquerades his choice in mediocre teams as being hipster