Zimmerman ready to lead Victory from the front on return

Experience will be injected into Melbourne Victory’s frontline with two-time premiership winning player Catherine Zimmerman set to return from injury.

The winger has recovered from a fractured fibula suffered against Sydney FC in round two, and was looking towards the positives.

“I guess it’s not the worst timing or the worst injury, because I can get back for the end of the season, which is good,” Zimmerman said. 

“And then the injury itself again, like it sucks for sure. But I kept saying it wasn’t the worst case scenario.”

Having returned to full training, Zimmerman will be ready to suit up for the match day squad for Saturday’s Dub Round match against Western Sydney Wanderers. 

She said she had been trusting the coaches on the timing of her return.

“I’m so excited,” she said.

“Anytime you’re away from the game and it’s not by choice, it’s always such a good feeling to be back. And I’ve been really lucky to have the support from my teammates, they’ve been super supportive of me, and the club in general.”

The early season blow of Zimmerman had been compounded by Melina Ayres’ injury, which left fit, experienced attacking stocks low at the club. The expectations of Zimmerman’s imminent return was something she was ready to carry.

“I think the job for forwards and wingers is to always score, always produce or assist, so I think it’s a normal thing and expected pressure,” she said.

A stretch of eight games undefeated has made a stressful time sitting on the sidelines a little easier for the 29-year-old.

Zimmerman’s focus has been set on winning games when she returns to the field and securing a spot in the finals.

“When you think about what all the girls have accomplished this season, we’re still in pretty good shape,” Zimmerman said.

“So if we can just bounce back [from losing against Sydney in round 12] and win the rest of regular season and make it into finals and go on a run like last year I think is the goal for everyone.

“I think there’s a good mix of experience and the new fresh players, fresh ideas, I think that’s helped us in a lot of ways this season.”