Strongman Zullo hungry for comeback

Michael Zullo believes he is stronger than he has ever been as he edges closer to a return to full fitness for Brisbane Roar.

Michael Zullo believes he is stronger than he has ever been as he edges closer to a return to full fitness for Brisbane Roar.

It has been a frustrating start to the season for the left winger, with illness, shoulder and groin problems limiting him to just 98 minutes of football during the first half of the campaign.

However, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally beginning to appear, with the zippy trickster stringing together a number of full sessions this week for the first time in recent history.

If he can back it up with another solid week next week, a return to the pitch could come as soon as the end of the month.

“I think I-ll be available for the Wellington game (on November 29),” Zullo said. “Hopefully it all goes to plan.

“The time I-ve had off has made me realise how much playing and being part of the squad actually means to me and I-ve got more hunger about me now than I did maybe a couple of months ago.

“It-s been tough. I-ve been having to sit back and watch the boys for basically half the season but I-ve worked hard off the park, doing a lot of strength exercises and I feel pretty good now.

“I-m definitely stronger than I-ve ever been.”

Ange Postecoglou said Zullo had progressed better than expected this week.

“At the start of the week we were thinking he-s probably two or three (weeks) away but he-s actually done some good sessions this week,” the Roar coach said.

“The last two days he-s done pretty much full sessions. It-s just a matter of how he pulls up but if he pulls up well, he shouldn-t be far off.”

The news caps off a good seven days for the newly appointed head coach, who picked up his first win in charge last Friday before welcoming a number of injured players back to full training.

Massimo Murdocca is a chance to play some part in tomorrow-s youth match against the Central Coast Mariners and again against the Australian Institute of Sport on Wednesday.

Henrique was expected to join him against the Mariners but now looks set to wait until Wednesday to get his first game time since he suffered a knee injury six weeks ago.

Scotsman Charlie Miller has also enjoyed a positive week and could be in the frame for next week-s match against Melbourne Victory, Postecoglou said.

“He-s trained the majority of this week and provided he feels ok and can train all next week then he-ll be available.”

Brisbane Roar Youth-s match against the Mariners kicks off at 3.15pm tomorrow at Ballymore Stadium and will be followed by the W-League match against Melbourne at 6pm.

Tickets ($5 adults, $2 children/concessions, free for Roar members) are available at the Clyde Road entrance.

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