Phoenix's Carlos Hernandez under injury cloud
As Ernie Merrick quipped, there's never a dull moment in coaching.
Just as Phoenix injury concerns over Stein Huysegems and Louis Fenton started to ease, playmaker Carlos Hernandez was being whisked off to hospital for X-rays on a wrist.
The Costa Rican only played a limited part in yesterday's training session at Sydney Grammar School and is under a cloud for tomorrow night's game against Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium.
"He must have fallen awkwardly at some point, I don't know if it was in the game [on Friday against Melbourne Heart] or in a training session, he didn't say much," Merrick said yesterday.
"But he's got an aching wrist so an X-ray will tell us if he's broken or fractured something.
"He's really the one we have concern over just now and we won't get that cleared up until we get the X-ray which he's having here.
"And then we'll have a discussion with our physio and our doctor in Wellington.
"He's at the hospital now so we have to clear up the extent of the injury and find out whether it's minor or major."
Merrick expected to get some definitive news on Hernandez, who has also been battling a quad problem, today.
A spell on the sidelines would be a severe blow for the Phoenix, who are riding back-to-back wins but are already without Paul Ifill for the season.
But Merrick declared Huysegems (hamstring), whose goals have given the Phoenix their two wins, a definite starter, and Fenton (shoulder) a probable starter.
On Friday, Fenton suffered a dislocation of his right shoulder, the same one he dislocated in pre-season.
But the right back trained yesterday and Merrick said he was "looking good" to take his place tomorrow.
"If it semi pops out, and goes straight back in, and there's no pain associated with it, it's the sort of thing, in football, you can play on with.
"If an operation is required you can usually play on and have the operation at the end of the year. He's a pretty tough lad as well."
Meanwhile, the second-placed Wanderers have recalled Shinji Ono, Tomi Juric and Michael Beauchamp to their squad for tomorrow's game.
Aaron Mooy, Mark Bridge and Shannon Cole remain sidelined.
The Dominion Post