Mariners coach reveals Usain Bolt's starting chances

Matt Encarnacion
Mariners coach reveals Usain Bolt's starting chances

Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey admits he's considering starting Usain Bolt in Friday's trial against a Macarthur South West United team.

Mulvey on Tuesday revealed Bolt was rested from training duties last week as he recovered from a minor knee injury.

However the Jamaican superstar is back at peak fitness and is set to be given more than the 20 minutes in his first public appearance in late August.

"From a fitness perspective, you could probably start him. Whether we do or not, (there's) probably a good chance," Mulvey told reporters on Tuesday.

Usain Bolt is set to make his first start for the Central Coast Mariners. Pic: Getty

"But we'll weigh it up as the week goes. Last week we rested him a little bit because he had a bit of a knee injury, but that's all gone.

"The rest helped him with that."

After allowing Bolt to take a week off last month, the club upped his program to include one-on-one sessions with former Mariners captain Nick Montgomery.

But while pleased with Bolt's improvement in his physical condition, Mulvey conceded the former Olympic and world sprint champion lacked match fitness.

He compared his progress to that of defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis, who is on the comeback from a knee reconstruction.

Aspropotamitis only begun non-contact training with the main group this week, and has struggled to keep pace with his teammates.

Usain Bolt's fitness has improved remarkably. Pic: AAP

"Nothing (Jonathan) did before really readied for him for when there's pressure on and people running past him," Mulvey said.

"Usain's in the same situation because he needs to learn all that and be able to do repeat efforts, because in football nowadays, you've got to be able to do something which is okay good, but then you need to repeat.

"Particularly to play in wide areas, we're looking at our players overlapping or wingers coming inside. He needs to be able to repeat.

"That's where we're at with the journey as far as he's concerned. He'll play on Friday night and I think we'll see how long he lasts and go from there."