Brisbane’s Reinaldo breaks injury shackles for return

The celebratory backflips might be on hold, but Reinaldo is hopeful he can help steer Brisbane Roar to its first win of the season when he returns to action against the Central Coast Mariners at Sunco

The celebratory backflips might be on hold, but Reinaldo is hopeful he can help steer Brisbane Roar to its first win of the season when he returns to action against the Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow.

After nearly a year on the sidelines, restrained by injury, the Brazilian striker will take his place on the bench to offer a timely boost to the Roar as they look to kick-start their season against the third-placed Mariners.

The 25-year-old was almost jumping for joy at the prospect of a return but, understandably, said he wouldn’t perform his trademark backflip celebration for fear of sustaining another injury.

“Not yet, but if I score a goal I’ll be happy because it’s a very important game,” he said.

“Now we can play with three Brazilians up front: me, Henrique and Sergio,” he joked, referring to Dutch team mate Sergio van Dijk who was named after former Brazilian international Serginho.

“Even if I just play 15 minutes I’ll do 100 per cent because I know it is a very important game for us and hopefully I can score the goals and help the team.”

Reinaldo’s return capped off a good week of preparation for Frank Farina, who was upbeat about the match despite being suspended from the bench this week.

“The intensity was most probably the best it’s been at this morning’s session and they’re looking sharp,” the Brisbane boss said.

“It’s been a good week of preparation and hopefully that’ll all come together on Saturday.”

Farina, who has been banned from any contact with the team during the game, said the Roar would be well-prepared to cope with his absence.

“I’ll meet with (assistant coach) Rado (Vidosic) just before the game tomorrow, we’ll go through a few things and I’ll be sitting up in the box.

“It’s a bit of a hiccup but I’ve got every confidence in Rado. We’ve worked closely for the last two and half years.

“He certainly knows what he’s doing and we’ve been through everything with the team so it’ll be ok.”

Also missing from the bench will be Michael Zullo, who is not yet fit after overcoming shoulder and ankle injuries.

Farina rated the zippy winger as one to two weeks from a return, but said he was looking forward to seeing Reinaldo in action.

“He’s been looking good and he’s ready,” he said.

“He’s obviously not match fit for 90 minutes but he will add a new dimension for us. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s confident at the moment so hopefully he will continue to improve.”

Tomorrow’s match between Brisbane Roar and the Central Coast Mariners kicks off at 3pm at Suncorp Stadium, with junior football mums invited to attend the match for free.

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