Bound for two weeks in quarantine, returning Sydney FC defender Ryan McGowan will have no excuses for losing fitness if the A-League leaders have their way.
Sydney FC are having to think outside the box to keep A-League star Ryan McGowan fit during his two-week stint in hotel quarantine.
McGowan was the only absentee as the Sky Blues returned to training on Wednesday for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown.
The 30-year-old defender is flying into Sydney on Wednesday night after travelling to Scotland where his wife Stephanie gave birth to their second child last month.
With McGowan required to serve a mandatory 14 days in quarantine upon his return, ladder leaders Sydney FC are looking into whether they can get a treadmill installed at his accommodation.
"We're trying to get a running machine into his hotel room," coach Steve Corica told reporters on Wednesday.
"That's if that's allowed. We'll have to make sure."
McGowan has formed a strong centre-back partnership with skipper Alex Wilkinson since joining the A-League powerhouse last off-season.
Given the player's far-from-ideal preparation, Corica is not sure if the former Socceroo will be ready for the Sky Blues' fixture against third-placed Wellington Phoenix at Jubilee Stadium on July 17.
"We've just got to take it a little bit easier with him," Corica said.
"Whether he'll be right for the first game, I can't answer that yet.
"We'll see how he comes back after he's done all the running program and two weeks in quarantine.
"We can just judge him when he starts training with the boys."
Sydney FC only need two wins from their final six games to wrap up a fourth A-League premiership.
The condensed regular-season calendar, which will cram the remaining 27 matches into a 28-day window, has led to the competition expanding allowed substitutions to five.
Corica believes the rule tweak will reduce the stress on tired players and give youngsters a chance to shine.
"Having five subs does help, especially in this period," the Sky Blues boss said.
"You've seen in the German league there's (been) a lot of soft-tissue injuries.
"It gives opportunities for some young boys ... on the bench to make a mark in the A-League."
Sydney FC players and staff were all cleared after undergoing coronavirus testing on Monday.