The Wellington Phoenix have lost Manny Muscat to a three-game suspension.
The combative midfielder found himself in hot water with the A-League's match review panel after twice elbowing Nick Fitzgerald during Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar.
The panel tonight found Muscat guilty of ''assault on a player (e.g. violent conduct when not challenging for the ball)''.
The Phoenix play Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday and tonight announced they would not appeal the ban.
Muscat leads the league with 68 effective tackles, while the Phoenix will also be without Tyler Boyd against the Victory after the 18-year-old striker was sent off in Brisbane.
American midfielder Alex Smith and Belgian striker Stein Huysegems are likely to be the beneficiaries of the suspensions.
Michael Boxall joined the team in Melbourne today and is set for a place on the bench along with Cameron Lindsay and Benjamin Totori.
The Victory have also suffered a setback this week with the league's leading provider of goal assists, Gui Finkler, ruled out for the season with a knee injury.
- The Dominion Post
How will the Phoenix go in 2013-14?Related story: Wellington Phoenix off-season scorecard