Phoenix midfield duo in doubt for trip to Perth

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:01 04/12/2013
Carlos Hernandez
Getty Images
FITNESS RACE: Carlos Hernandez is an injury doubt for Wellington Phoenix's clash with Perth Glory.

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Jeremy Brockie is expected to return to the Wellington Phoenix squad for Friday's visit to Perth Glory, but Carlos Hernandez and Albert Riera remain under an injury cloud.

All Whites striker Brockie missed Sunday's scoreless draw with Western Sydney with a hamstring injury but participated freely in yesterday's training session and is expected to travel.

Midfielders Hernandez (quad) and Riera (groin) both started on Sunday but limped off Westpac Stadium in the second half.

Neither injury is thought to be serious but the Costa Rican and the Spaniard worked separately with physio Rob Lee yesterday.

The Phoenix fly out to Perth today and, as of yesterday, a decision was yet to be made on their availability.

Riera was waiting on the results of an MRI scan.

The Phoenix will take 17 players to Perth as cover - one more than the matchday squad of 16.

Left back Reece Caira is expected to return to the squad in place of the suspended Manny Muscat.

The ninth-placed Phoenix are yet to register a win after seven games and the loss of Hernandez in particular would leave a big hole.

Paul Ifill, Stein Huysegems and Jason Hicks would all be options to fill the No 10 playmaking role.

The good news for the Phoenix is that seventh-placed Perth have plenty of problems of their own.

They will be without Steve Pantelidis at nib Stadium on Friday after the veteran defender yesterday signed with Malaysian club Selangor FC.

Michael Thwaite is Perth's only fit, first-choice defender, with Scott Jamieson (achilles) and William Gallas (calf) also sidelined.

Another defender, Josh Risdon, is on the comeback from a knee injury, meaning inexperienced trio Matt Davies, Riley Woodcock and Jack Clisby are in line for starts on Friday.

The Glory are also without suspended captain Jacob Burns, while All Whites striker Shane Smeltz is in doubt with an ankle injury.

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- Fairfax Media

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