SYDNEY FC captain Dwight Yorke survived training unscathed today, saying the signs were looking good for his club comeback in the A-League match against Central Coast on Sunday.
Yorke injured his groin in training three weeks ago and took no part in the A-League champion's pre-season campaign.
But he looked comfortable smashing a succession of balls into the back of the net at Aussie Stadium today.
The former Manchester United star conceded he was short of match-fitness, but said he was feeling the best he had since picking up the strain.
"It's not the ideal preparation I would like," Yorke said today.
"Obviously I would have loved to have played a couple of pre-season games going into the start of the season.
"But I feel great today and the signs are looking good.'"
The club said yesterday that Yorke, 35, was "fit and available" to play the Mariners at Aussie Stadium, but Yorke revealed on Wednesday that his comeback was still under a cloud.
"Today, I came through training feeling much better, two days ago it didn't look great," he said.
"But today I must say I felt a lot fitter, a lot stronger.
"All credit to the physio and the trainer, they have both been working extremely hard with me behind closed doors."
Yorke said he didn't know if coach Terry Butcher planned to play him for 90 minutes or even if he would start on Sunday, but he hoped he might be spared going the distance if Sydney were dominant.
"Knowing the kind of person that I am, I want to be leading the team out there," Yorke said.
"But if we are in control then I would like to think that I could give (Butcher) the signal (that) maybe it's a good time to come off."
The Sydney skipper has undergone something of a transformation in the past year, growing with the responsibility of the armband he wears for both club and country, Trinidad and Tobago.
But Yorke said it wasn't something he thought he would enjoy so much.
"At first, I thought it's not really my cup of tea, if I am totally honest with you," he said.
"But at the minute I am loving being the captain ... that certainly gives me additional responsibility that I relish."
Attacking midfield player David Carney, one of the standouts for Australia Kuwait last week, was happy to see his skipper back at training.
"Obviously with Yorkey's quality, you need him in the team," Carney said.
"He hasn't had a match since really the World Cup (but) we've had a few in training and he looks very sharp and hopefully he performs on Sunday."