Adelaide United FC striker Lloyd Owusu has been cleared of serious injury to his neck, however the target man is only regarded as an 'outside chance' of being available to face the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night, following the results of scans on his neck and back yesterday.
MRI scans revealed that Owusu has injured one of the discs in his neck and sustained bruising to the spinal cord and the neck following an accidental collision with teammate Michael Marrone in the second half of last Friday's 1-1 draw with the Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.
The former Ghanaian international fell heavily and left the field momentarily before returning, with a bandage covering a cut to the head that he suffered in the clash.
Adelaide United FC Doctor James Ilic confirmed the results of the scan, which cleared Owusu of any major nerve damage.
"The MRI scan showed that Lloyd has got a cervical 34 disc injury and some spinal cord oedema," Dr Ilic stated.
"In simpler terms, he has injured one of the discs in the mid neck region, plus he's also got some mild bruising to the spinal cord, which is probably due to a pulling affect on those nerve roots at that level of the spinal cord."
The films of Owusu's scan have been reviewed by a neurosurgeon, and Ilic claims Owusu should be able to train, but said he was no certainty to face the Mariners at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday.
"The conclusion at the moment is that Lloyd can train providing he is relatively pain free and symptom free, and in terms of returning to games, it will depend on how his symptoms go," Ilic said.
"He's an outside possibility to play this Friday, but more than likely it will be the following week or even the week after."
The Reds are preparing for two tough and telling Friday night tests at home against the Mariners and rivals Melbourne Victory in the next two weeks, and coach Aurelio Vidmar will be hoping to have Owusu available for both matches, but only time will tell.
Vidmar is likely to regain Captain Travis Dodd and 2007/08 Club Champion Cassio for the match with the Mariners, the duo rejoining the main group today after recovered from calf injuries.