After an extended injury lay off, Roy O’Donovan is edging closer to a Hyundai A-League return, with the striker in line to play some part in the Jets’ clash with Melbourne Victory this weekend.
O’Donovan has not been sighted in the league since early December, when he injured his groin after tangling awkwardly with Glory custodian, Liam Reddy – an incident which saw him incur a grade three tear.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick has confirmed that the Irish marksman will be a part of his Round 19 match day squad, to be announced tomorrow afternoon.
“Roy has been training the house down over the last couple of weeks,” said Merrick.
“Over the last fortnight his match fitness has increased substantially and he has been consistently scoring goals at training.”
While it was the incident in Round 10 against the Glory that saw O’Donovan on the sidelines, the man himself admitted he was struggling with a groin issue in the early part of the season.
Despite this, O’Donovan scored 6 goals in 7 games and played a major role in the Jets resurgence through the season’s opening rounds.
Merrick said that while O’Donovan will return to the squad, he wasn’t sure what role he would play against the Victory.
“I haven’t decided what time period he will play against Victory, he may come off the bench or we could opt to use him in the first half.
“He will be assessed over the next couple of days and see how he is leading into the match.
“His fitness is high and he is the ultimate professional, so I have no doubt he can go out there and do a job for us, whatever role he ends up playing.”
If he is to return, O’Donovan will be more than a month ahead of schedule.
“It’s an absolute credit to Justin Dougherty (Physio) and Chris Smith (Strength and Conditioning) for their tireless effort in getting Roy back to full fitness – they’ve been outstanding” added Merrick.
"I'd also like to acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Neil Halpin in Roy's recovery, he's one of the country's leading specialists and has been instrumental in getting Roy back on the pitch ahead of schedule."