Ahead of Friday's Brisbane Roar clash, Melbourne City will be without captain Patrick Kisnorbo and Aaron Hughes for up to three weeks through injury but it's not all bad news with two big names set to play.
City coach John van 't Schip revealed on Thursday that Kisnorbo and Hughes (both calf) are expected to miss "two to three weeks" after suffering injuries last week.
But in good news for City, marquee midfielder Aaron Mooy is "good to go" and fellow Australia international Ivan Franjic is also set to play a part against the A-League leaders.
Van 't Schip said City have tried to soften their training pitch due to concerns it was exacerbating the club's injury issues, with the likes of Robbie Koren and Michael Zullo also on the sidelines.
The Dutch coach denied, however, that City could have predicted Hughes (36) and Koren (35) would be injury-prone because of their age.
"Looking at Aaron Hughes and also Robbie Koren, they have a history before [coming to Australia] of playing regularly," Van 't Schip said.
"But still, if you come into certain situations with the pitch, climate, travel - things can come up that maybe in Europe they maybe didn't have any issues with."
Van 't Schip was thrilled Mooy had returned to Melbourne after two games with the Socceroos without any problems, and he joked about his relief when the 25-year-old midfielder was withdrawn early in the second half against Bangladesh.
"Well, I made a few handstands," the 51-year-old said with a smile.
"No he's good to go. Aaron is very robust... he's been great, he's been fit, he's ready to go."
With Kisnorbo, Hughes and Zullo unavailable, Van 't Schip has few options in defence, meaning Franjic may come straight into the starting XI for his City debut against his former club.
"Ivan is involved, he played a game already with the youth [team] last week. So he's been training and will be travelling up with us," Van 't Schip said.comments