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Ninkovic expects to play Sydney FC's semi

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/04/2017 Emma Kemp

Milos Ninkovic has declared he'll play in Sydney FC's A-League finals on one leg if he has to.

Thankfully that probably won't be a necessity after the star playmaker was cleared of structural damage to his ankle.

A crude tackle from behind by Newcastle's Ben Kantarovski sparked fears the premiership-winning Sky Blues might have to continue their title push without the driving force behind their record-breaking season.

The 32-year-old Serbian could hardly walk due to the initial swelling on Saturday night, to the point he did not reappear even for Sydney's Premiers' Plate presentation at Allianz Stadium.

However, the signs since have been positive and the club expect Ninkovic will return to training towards the end of this week.

"I felt very bad (initially)," Ninkovic said.

"I had pain in my ankle and straight after the game I couldn't walk because of my ankle, but the next day it was much better.

"Every day it's getting better and better. We have a very good medical team and I will be ready for the semi-final."

The Sky Blues have earned the luxury of a weekend off while the elimination finals are played, giving Ninkovic an extra week to recover.

"I expect to play but we have a very good team with very good players and confidence is high, so it doesn't matter who will play," Ninkovic said.

"Grand final I will play without a leg if I need to."

Sydney will learn of their semi-final opponents this weekend, with a Sydney derby on the cards should the Western Sydney Wanderers overcome Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

In that event, Sydney's preference is to host the showdown at their home ground of Allianz Stadium, instead of the much larger ANZ Stadium.

Football Federation Australia is yet to make a final decision on a venue, though A-League chief Greg O'Rourke on Tuesday said it was leaning towards granting Sydney's wish and selling out the 45,500-capacity Allianz, rather than risk empty seats at the 83,500-capacity ANZ.

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