Injury sidelines Santalab for season start

Brendon Santalab’s horror run with injury has continued after suffering a quad injury which is set to rule him out of Western Sydney Wanderers’ Round One clash.

Wanderers open the season at home to Brisbane Roar on Thursday week, but Santalab is unlikely to play after he was injured in the warm-up prior to Tuesday night’s FFA Cup 4-2 penalty shootout loss to Perth Glory.

Santalab, who turned 33 earlier this month, has only managed five appearances since the club’s November 2 AFC Champions League final triumph due to successive shoulder injuries.

After a big pre-season where he has regained fitness and appeared in the cup win over Palm Beach in early September, he’s now set for another stint on the sidelines.

“He’s got a quad injury which is a shame,” Popovic told FourFourTwo.

“He’s been doing really well. It’s never ideal to lose a player in the warm-up.”

Young Socceroos attacker Jaushua Sotirio was replaced in extra-time after copping a heavy knock from Josh Risdon but Popovic insisted he was fine.

The Wanderers coach was delighted with his side’s performance against Glory despite the shootout defeat.

Glory defeat Wanderers in dramatic shootout

Gallery: FFA Cup action

“Overall, I think we should have won the game in 90 minutes,” Popovic said.

“We controlled pretty much the whole game. We unfortunately didn’t put them away when we had all the chances when we were up 1-0.

“Overall it’s pre-season, we’re disappointed we haven’t gone through, because we certainly deserved to win that game but there’s a lot of positives.

“We’re fortunate we’ve got nine days before the first game so we can recover and we’ll go into the first game with confidence.”