Midfielder Culina joins Del Piero at Sydney FC

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SYDNEY (AP) -Australian World Cup midfielder Jason Culina has returned after more than 18 months sidelined by injury to join Alessandro Del Piero at Sydney FC in Australia's A-League.

Culina , 32, who has not played competitively since sustaining a knee injury at the Asian Cup in January, 2011, signed a one-year deal with Sydney.

Sydney is Culina's third A-League club since returning to Australia in 2009 after stints with Ajax, FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven in Europe.

Culina said in a statement Friday that he considered retirement during his long return from injury, saying: "There were times I thought I wanted to give up but I knew that if I put in the effort and commitment I could get back."

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