The Newcastle Jets Venezuelan import, Ronald Vargas has been named in Ernie Merrick’s squad to take on the Wellington Phoenix this weekend and is expected to make his much-anticipated Hyundai A-League return.
The marquee midfielder has not been seen on field since incurring a horrific lower leg injury in Round 3.
In just his third match with the club, Vargas sustained a broken and dislocated ankle in an incident that left the club and his teammates in shock.
The road to recovery has been a long one for the Venezuelan international, who has worked tirelessly with the club’s medical team over the last five months.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said he was looking forward to seeing Vargas back on the pitch.
“The entire club was devastated after Ron’s injury, it was something that was felt right across the Newcastle community,” said Merrick.
“He had just arrived in a new country, was proving to be a great presence around the team and just an all-round good guy.
“He’s showcased the quality of his character, his professionalism and his commitment to getting back on the park from the outset of his rehabilitation – it’s a credit to him.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the work of Justin Dougherty (Physio) and Chris Smith (Strength and Conditioning) in overseeing Ron’s rehab, to get him back on the park as they have after such a serious injury.”
Jets’ Physiotherapist, Justin Dougherty said that Vargas’ commitment to his rehab had been unwavering.
“The seriousness of his injury and the subsequent timeframe of Ron’s recovery has been remarkable,” said Dougherty.
“The effort that he has put into just getting back on the field has been extraordinary, his willingness to do the extra work and his meticulous approach to his rehabilitation has contributed significantly to his recovery.
“In saying that, we will be taking a tempered approach with his return to football, with a gradual reintroduction to play that will allow Ron to build match fitness as we approach the end of the regular season.
“Despite his return to playing, rehab still continues for Ron as he puts in the extra work required to improve his conditioning and reduce the risk of re-injury.”
It’s expected that Vargas will be named on the bench for the Jets’ Round 23 clash with the Phoenix, as fellow import Pato Rodriguez also returns from a calf strain.