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Perth Glory sweating on Chris Ikonomidis' injury

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1st February, 2020
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Perth Glory attacker Chris Ikonomidis lasted just 15 minutes in his A-League return before re-injuring his knee in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Victory.

Socceroos attacker Chris Ikonomidis faces another stint on the sidelines after re-injuring his left knee in Saturday night’s 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory.

Ikonomidis will undergo scans after lasting just 15 minutes in his A-League return.

The 24-year-old first injured his left knee on January 11 after copping a heavy tackle against Adelaide, forcing him to miss the next two matches.

Ikonomidis was brought on in the 62nd minute against Victory on Saturday, but was forced off in the 77th minute after his knee buckled in innocuous fashion after passing the ball.

The star striker was despondent as he sat on the grass before hobbling off.

Ikonomidis already had his left knee strapped, but coach Tony Popovic said the club was confident the speedster had fully recovered from the previous injury before giving him the green light to return.

“We’re not going to risk a player,” Popovic said. 

“He hasn’t played for two, three weeks now. If there was any doubt in the player … he wouldn’t have played.

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“It would have just been another game he misses out on. He came on because we all felt he was fine.

“We’ll see if that incident is related to his previous injury or not. It could be something different.”

Popovic rested Diego Castro against Victory to allow the skipper to rest his battered body.

“He copped a knock a couple of weeks ago and he’s been battling through that for a few weeks now,” Popovic said.

“We’re wary of him maybe getting an injury in a different part of his body because he doesn’t have that same balance that he normally does, so we just had to be really careful. 

“He hasn’t trained much in the last couple of weeks. We keep thinking he will be fine. He wants to always play. But I think we made a good decision to leave him out.”

Glory had Nicholas D’Agostino to thank for their great escape against Victory, with the Olyroos striker heading truly in the 90th minute to secure the draw.

Despite Victory letting the win slip through their fingers, coach Carlos Perez Salvachua was proud of his team’s effort.

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Star forward Robbie Kruse missed the match with hamstring tightness, but Salvachua expects him to return for Friday night’s derby against Melbourne City.

Marco Rojas came on against Glory in the 75th minute in his A-League return, and is set to play more game time against City.

© AAP