Wellington Phoenix could be handed a massive injury boost with captain Andrew Durante named in their preliminary squad of 18 to take on Brisbane Roar this Saturday, 7.35pm at Westpac Stadium.
When the talismanic centre half went down injured late in the Round 2 game against Sydney FC early reports suggested he could be facing as long as 8-12 weeks out with surgery on a torn adductor muscle.
But subsequent reports suggest the injury may not be as severe, with medical staff giving the captain every chance to be considered for the weekend’s game.
Coach Darije Kalezić will give a full injury update at tomorrow’s media conference, which could bring good news for All Whites fans hoping to see Durante considered for selection for the crucial Intercontinental playoff against Peru at Westpac Stadium, Saturday 11 November, 4.15pm.
Elsewhere Gui Finkler and Logan Rogerson return to selection, with Italian defender Marco Rossi succumbing to a groin aggrevation that saw him substituted against Melbourne City.
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2. Daniel MULLEN, 3. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Goran PARACKI, 7. Gui FINKLER, 8. Dario VIDOSIC, 9. Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 10. Michael McGLINCHEY, 11. Hamish WATSON, 12. Adam PARKHOUSE, 14. Alex RUFER, 17. Ali ABBAS, 19. Thomas DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Matthew RIDENTON, 24. Logan ROGERSON, 30. Keegan SMITH (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7. Gui FINKLER (returns from injury), 22. Andrew DURANTE (returns from injury), 24. Logan ROGERSON (promoted)
Outs: 13. Marco ROSSI (Groin, 2 weeks)
Unavailable: 13. Marco ROSSI (Groin, 2 weeks)
1.Michael THEO, 2.Dane INGHAM, 3.Luke DEVERE, 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS, 9.Massimo MACCARONE, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Mitchell OXBORROW, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 18.Joe CALETTI, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG, 22.Eric BAUTHEAC, 24.Connor O’TOOLE, 25.Rahmat AKBARI, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 33.Petros SKAPETIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Dane INGHAM (promoted), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (promoted), 25.Rahmat AKBARI (promoted)
Outs: 5.Corey BROWN (hamstring – 4-6 weeks)
Unavailable: 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee – TBC), 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN (hamstring – 2 weeks), 20.Shannon BRADY (broken foot – TBC)
Wellington Phoenix play Brisbane Roar at Westpac Stadium, Saturday 28 October, 7.35pm.
Television coverage from 7.30pm on Sky Sport 3.