Milos Ninkovic of Sydney FC.
Milos Ninkovic of Sydney FC. TRAVIS ANDERSON

Sky Blues lifted by Milos Ninkovic injury news

SYDNEY FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic expects to return to training by the end of the week, giving his side a major boost as they wait to learn their opponents in the A-League semi-final.

Ninkovic, the favourite to secure the Johnny Warren Medal for the A-League's player of the year, limped off in Saturday's 2-0 defeat of Newcastle in some distress, after a bad tackle by Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski.

Though it's believed he suffered minor ligament damage at the time, the club's medical staff are confident he will be able to train fully by the weekend. It's questionable whether he will be able to take part in an intra-club fixture coach Graham Arnold has arranged for Friday, with Sydney having the weekend off during the round of elimination finals.

The Serbian didn't appear for the presentation of the Premier's Plate to the Sky Blues on Saturday, with his ankle swelling immediately, but his availability for the semi-final would be a huge boost for Arnold's side as it seeks to add the A-League championship to a season of record-breaking dominance.

Meanwhile, it's been revealed that the A-League will have two split rounds next season, in a bid to give more help to teams playing in the Asian Champions League. This season, round 23 was played over two weekends to give Western Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide a weekend's rest amid the fixture maelstrom that the ACL causes.

But A-League boss Geg O'Rourke said that next season would feature two such rounds, as Football Federation Australia seeks ways to help teams make a greater impression in the ACL.