Injury concerns in A-L return: Mombaerts

Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts is worried there could be a number of injuries when the A-League returns but says his side is in good health.

Newly appointed Melbourne City Head Coach ERICK MOMBAERTS.
Newly appointed Melbourne City Head Coach ERICK MOMBAERTS. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts has concerns the long break in the A-League season could see a spike in soft tissue injuries when the competition resumes in mid-July.

The German Bundesliga saw a spate of injuries when it resumed in May while Mombaerts cited Arsenal's return to play in the Premier League this week, where two players were substituted early in their loss to Manchester City.

A-League clubs returned to training this week, a month before the planned season restart.

"I'm worried about about this ... when you don't have a lot of time to prepare the players - they are not ready for competition," Mombaerts told reporters on Friday.

"Why? Because the break was too long - the break was very long.

"A lot of players lose their specific strengths and when you don't have a lot longer physical period of preparation, you're maybe not ready to compete.

"So that's maybe why (other leagues) have a lot of injuries - that is normal ... because the break was too long.

"For us, it's also three months but with our physical staff we focused on this with our players and also they (had) a program to keep (up) their strength level."

City players returned to training in good shape but Mombaerts said it would take time for them to regain technical ability and "combine play" after a long break.

Mombaerts didn't travel to NSW for games against Central Coast and Newcastle before the season suspension, due to his personal concerns over coronavirus.

But the 65-year-old said he now felt comfortable to travel if required, though second-placed City are likely to play their remaining three regular-season home games - against Western United, Adelaide and Sydney FC in Melbourne rather than a NSW hub.

"I think now if we have an away game I can travel, I can travel - I can do this now," Mombaerts said.

"It's important to finish these three games and do well."


AAP