Thomas Kristensen hasn’t played since August. Picture: Peter Wallis
Thomas Kristensen hasn’t played since August. Picture: Peter Wallis

Brisbane Roar’s Great Dane pain gets worse

BRISBANE Roar are resigned to being without key midfielder Thomas Kristensen until at least January.

The former Danish international has not played since the Roar's 5-1 FFA Cup loss to Melbourne Victory on August 9.

He suffered a hamstring injury soon after, and the problem has worsened to the extent where the Roar are reluctant to put a time frame on his return.

However, it's expected Kristensen will be fit to play in January, meaning his absence will stretch to five months.

Without the 34-year-old enforcer, the Roar's midfield has struggled all season, with last-placed Brisbane yet to win an A-League game heading into Friday's round seven clash against Melbourne City at Suncorp Stadium.

In better news for the Roar, former Socceroo Brett Holman is set to return to Brisbane's starting line-up on Friday.

The previously jaded Holman was used off the bench in the Roar's 1-1 away draw with Melbourne Victory last Saturday.

Brisbane Roar's new recruit Ivan Franjic is set to spend another week on the sidelines.
Brisbane Roar's new recruit Ivan Franjic is set to spend another week on the sidelines.

It worked for Brisbane, with Holman's second-half cameo including his side's equaliser.

With the expected return of the marquee man, Nick D'Agostino is the likely omission.

Attacking weapon Fahid Ben Khalfallah and midfielder Mitch Oxborrow are also in strong contention to return after being sidelined last weekend with respective groin and bone spur issues.

However, Jade North (pubic bone), Corey Gameiro (bone bruising) and the recently signed Ivan Franjic won't play.

With North still missing, Jacob Pepper - who impressed against the Victory - is set to again partner Avraam Papadopoulos in the centre of Brisbane's defence.

The Roar are unbeaten in their past three matches, but all have been draws.

Brisbane coach John Aloisi said the time had come for the Roar to kickstart their campaign.

"My sole focus is making sure that we start winning football games," Aloisi said.

"Everyone knows it's not the start we wanted, but we're still confident, we still know that we can turn it around, we know that in this league it's so close … so even though that we're sitting down the bottom at the moment, things can turn very quickly."

Veteran Jade North is expected to miss the clash.
Veteran Jade North is expected to miss the clash.

Melbourne City beat the Roar 2-0 on the opening night of the season, and have lost just one of their seven matches.

Tonight's match is the second in a double-header, with Brisbane's W-League team meeting Adelaide United in the opening game at 4.20pm.

Meanwhile, the A-League clash between Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix that had been scheduled for Saturday afternoon has been postponed due to concerns over the Spotless Stadium playing surface.

A-League boss Greg O'Rourke explained the embarrassing situation, saying the field was a "safety risk" after the turf had not properly regenerated following the transition from winter to summer grass.

"A decision to when the match will be scheduled will be made in the near future," O'Rourke said.



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