Glory to be cautious with Sturridge early

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If Daniel Sturridge makes his A-League Men debut against Adelaide United, it is unlikely to be more than a cameo appearance, with Perth Glory taking a cautious approach with their star recruit.

Sturridge hasn't played a professional match in almost 21 months, only finished his two-week hotel quarantine period last Thursday and trained with his new Glory teammates for the first time on Monday.

Coach Richard Garcia joked when asked whether Sturridge would feature at HBF Park on Saturday it was "the million-dollar question" and poured water on any suggestion the 32-year-old could start.

"We want to be mindful that he's just got out of quarantine, depending on the flow of the game," he said.

"His body's in good shape, he's looking in good shape, it's just more the fact we want to make sure we've got him for the whole season.

"He will possibly get minutes on the weekend."

Arguably the league's most high-profile recruit in years, former England international Sturridge has also been notoriously injury-prone throughout his career.

"He'll definitely play a role, everyone's got a role to play," Garcia said.

"It's a difficult one because we've got to be mindful that it's a long season and we want to make sure that everyone' fit for the whole season.

"... Everyone's aware that we want to make sure that Daniel gets to produce the fantastic play that he has for the whole season.

"There's no point trying to push him out there, to start him on the weekend and break him for the rest of the year.

"We want to be mindful of that and make sure we do the right thing by him as a player and as a person."

Garcia will also carefully monitor Spanish forward Adrian Sardinero, who came out of quarantine a week before Sturridge.

But he was otherwise confident his squad could overcome a lack of competitive pre-season matches against top-tier opposition, due to border restrictions, and make an early impact.

"We're confident that we've prepared in the best way possible but you can't prepare for something that you haven't done," Garcia said.

"I feel that once we get out there, the adrenaline will take over and the boys will be pumped for it.

"They've been hungry for this for the last 16 weeks, it's been a long pre-season.

"So for us to have a competitive game, and especially in front of our home crowd, it's going to be fantastic."

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