Kevin Muscat says Tom Rogic may not travel with Melbourne Victory to Japan this week if his condition does not improve, with plenty of other tired bodies expected after an intense 1-1 draw at home to Sydney FC.
Rogic was left out of the matchday squad and watched from the sidelines as the points were shared in a frenetic 'Big Blue' at AAMI Park on Saturday night, with Muscat citing groin soreness as the reason behind the underperforming playmaker's absence.
Victory are in AFC Champions League action away to Yokohama F Marinos on Wednesday night, but their on-loan Socceroo midfielder could be left at home with an eye to the away game against Newcastle Jets next weekend.
"We're not going to take risks with anyone," Muscat said.
"We've still got a lot of football to be played. I think you can sense ... that I believe we can go on and win our last two games and that might be enough to get us into second (place).
"So there's certainly enough football to be played. And we weren't going to risk Tommy. His groins have tightened up with the amount of football he's played of late. And considering the amount of football he's played before he got here - it was just the logical decision.
"At this point in time, after assessment tomorrow and he presents the same as today, no, he won't travel.
"It doesn't make any sense. How can I ask someone to travel if he presents as he has done today and he couldn't play? And then ask him to get on a flight and get on a flight back, fly straight to Sydney and get on a bus to go to Newcastle - and get three points in Newcastle?"
"It's genuinely been creeping in and it's got to that point where this week we tried to manage it as best we could and hadn't been able to clear it up totally, so, like I said, it was just a logical outcome."
Some of those Victory players who did take to the field on Saturday ran themselves into the ground to help their team earn a point, with captain Mark Milligan and fullback Adama Traore, who had missed the previous two matches due to injury, of particular concern.
"I've got a fair idea of how Adama's going to pull up, how Millsy's going to pull up," Muscat said.
"We'll reassess tomorrow morning. We'll get everyone here tomorrow morning and we'll pick the best team available to go and win a game in Japan."comments