Sydney FC marquee Alessandro Del Piero is out of Sunday's match against the Wellington Phoenix with a hamstring injury.
The 38-year old hasn't trained this week after suffering a strain in the second half of last week's 0-0 draw with Melbourne Heart, an injury that led to his substitution.
Incoming Sydney coach Frank Farina said that while it was a huge blow to be missing a player of Del Piero's calibre, he felt it was better to err on the safe side with the team's star player.
"Scans have shown that Alessandro has suffered a strained hamstring so he will not be travelling to Wellington for Sunday's game," Farina said.
"It's a long flight and with time differences it's not an option for him to play. The positive news is that there is no tear but we will re-evaluate how the injury has progressed and what we do going forward next week when we get back in to training."
Del Piero will now be given the weekend off to get himself fully fit for the following week's Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Phoenix yesterday confirmed back-up goalkeeper Glen Moss would be out for at least three weeks with surgery required to repair his hernia.
Australian keeper Griffin McMaster will continue to sit on the bench behind Mark Paston in Moss's absence.
Spanish midfielder Dani Sanchez (knee) played for Phoenix A against Waitakere United in Auckland last night but is unlikely to be considered for Sunday's game.
The fifth-placed Phoenix, with two wins and a draw in their last three starts, have been installed as $1.70 favourites.
- The Dominion Post