Western United captain Alessandro Diamanti believes players need a month of training to be ready for the resumption of the A-League season.
Clubs and players are reportedly anticipating a return to play in August after the 2019-20 campaign was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic in March.
The A-League had 27 regular-season fixtures remaining when it was suspended, with newcomers Western United sixth through 20 matches.
As Australia eases restrictions, former Italy international Diamanti told Stats Perform: “Training in the park alone is not like doing it in a group with a ball between your feet.
“Maybe you won’t need like a summer training preparation but almost. Things would change because we are going to play many games in a few days to end the league as soon as possible.
“We would need a month to be able to perform for 90 minutes.”
“I have always been positive this situation would be sorted and the league would restart soon. I want to finish this season with my team-mates,” added Diamanti when asked if the thought about returning to Italy during the COVID-19 crisis. “As I say, everything will go, good things and bad ones too.”
It has been a confronting experience for Diamanti away from the pitch in Australia following devastating bushfires and the COVID-19 outbreak since arriving from Serie B side Livorno in July.
While Australia has managed to contain the spread of coronavirus, the former Brescia, Bologna, Fiorentina and Atalanta attacker has been forced to watch his native Italy struggle.
More than 31,000 people have succumbed to COVID-19 in Italy, while Australia has registered just 98 deaths.
“Here in Melbourne we have been luckier, if I can say that, than in Europe because numbers [of casualties] are not comparable but we had to stay home,” said the 37-year-old, who took the A-League by storm prior to the hiatus with give goals and seven assists.
“I lived it differently because I watch the news on Sky Italy, I have parents and friends in Italy and I had news two or three weeks before than here where everything was still normal. So I lived it in a different and more worried way.
“Here there has never been a lockdown so I could go every day to the park to train and do all the work out a professional athlete has to do when a league to finish is looming. Then I purchased a stand bike at home where I do my gym and strength work out but every morning I go out to train in these beautiful parks.”