Fornaroli makes emotional Melbourne City return after six-month injury layoff
After 166 days out of action, Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli admits he was close to tears when the time finally came to return to the A-League.
Fornaroli was the chief bright spot for City on Saturday night given the club's 4-0 humbling by Sydney FC.
The Uruguayan played the final half hour of the match after more than five months out with an ankle injury.
He looked a shadow of the striker who has scored 40 goals in his first two A-League seasons, but City's captain was delighted to just be there.
"I wanted to cry in this moment," he said. "I waited a lot of time for this.
"I'm very disappointed about the result but at the same time it's very exciting for me after six months to play again."
Fornaroli now has a fortnight off ahead of City's next A-League encounter, away to Perth Glory.
But coach Warren Joyce cautioned against fans thinking he was a certain starter for the rest of the season.
"He's managing his pain. We look day by day," Joyce said. "He's certainly not had three days training on the trot.
"It was a bonus to get him out on the pitch tonight ... because you know how little he's done.
"We'll look at that in the coming weeks to see that he gets back-to-back days training."
Given the gulf between City and the league leaders, Fornaroli -- and whiz-kid Daniel Arzani -- look to be the reasons that any optimists in City's camp might think they have a chance of silverware this season.
Fornaroli isn't about to give up on the season.
"I believe in this team. I believe in my teammates, the club and the coaches," he said. "We continue in third. We have a lot of games in front.
"I think we can finish in the top and try to win the finals this year."
Joyce's business in the transfer market also suggests the club haven't given up on the season.
City signed Oliver Bozanic, a title-winner under Graham Arnold at Central Coast Mariners, on Saturday.
Joyce suggested he could be replace Osama Malik -- who suffered a thigh issue in the warm-up against Sydney -- should the midfielder not recover from that injury.
"The transfer window is shut and we're looking at the best possible players available that can help us," he said.
"To add some quality and experience to the group, it's not an easy thing to do when the window is shut."