Western Sydney Wanderers marquee man Shinji Ono is in doubt for Saturday’s Hyundai A-League clash against Melbourne Victory due to illness.
The Japanese star called in sick on Wednesday and missed his side’s training session at Blacktown after waking up with a virus.
“He’s sick, he rang up this morning and we believe he’s got the flu so we’ll get him to the doctor today and see how he is but we certainly hope he’s not out for too long,” coach Tony Popovic said.
“Today’s the first session back from the trip (to Perth) so hopefully he’ll be OK tomorrow or Friday and we’ll assess him then.”
Having used Ono off the bench in the gutsy 1-0 win over the Glory, Popovic was coy when asked if the midfielder will start against the Victory if cleared to play.
“We’ll see about that, we haven’t decided,” he said.
“It’d be unfair of me to tell you guys whether he’s starting before the players know.
“We’ll see how he is during the week, we’ve still got two trainings after today and then we’ll decide on the formation and the team.
“I haven’t thought too much of Ono being a problem, it’s only just come to light in the last half an hour so we’ve really got to see how he is.
“We’re certainly hoping that he’ll train tomorrow but until he sees a doctor we won’t know too much.”
Pressed on why Ono was relegated to the bench against the Glory, Popovic explained: “He wasn’t sick and he wasn’t dropped to the bench. It was just for that game, with the trip and the opponent I just felt that it was better suited for that match that he was on the bench.”
Popovic admits the two-game suspension given to attacking midfielder Youssouf Hersi is a blow but is confident he has the depth to cover the Dutchman’s absence.
The coach refused to be drawn on the chances of David Beckham coming to the A-League or the Wanderers.
“I don’t know about that, obviously he’s a big name and I’m sure wherever he goes he’ll be a benefit to that league and we’ll wait and see whether he comes to the A-League,” he said.
Wanderers forward Mark Bridge was more forthcoming, saying all A-League clubs should make a play for the former England captain.
“I think any club should do their best to get him here, after all it’s David Beckham.
“Whether it’s our club or someone else, just for the league in general having (Alessandro) Del Piero, Shinji Ono, Emile Heskey and David Beckham here in the one season, that’s unbelievable, I don’t think many football people would have thought that would ever happen.”
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