James Troisi may miss the start of Melbourne Victory’s Hyundai A-League Championship defence, coach Kevin Muscat has revealed.
Muscat explained that Troisi has suffered a ‘very low grade’ hamstring tear and, in the most optimistic outcome, the 30-year-old will take two weeks to recover.
In the best case scenario, the midfielder will be a late assessment for the Elimination Final of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
As Victory have fallen behind Premiers Perth Glory and second-placed Sydney FC in the ladder, there will be no bye week to allow Muscat’s men extra time to rest and recover.
With the stage set for a Melbourne Derby to open the finals - pending the outcome of Round 27 - Victory will be without an important part of their attack as they attempt to take out back-to-back titles.
“Optimistic side of it, it’s going to take two weeks. Pessimistic side is it’s going to take a bit longer,” Muscat said.
“It’s never ideal but, this time of the year, it’s far from ideal.
“James had been working tirelessly and early signs are that he’s made good improvement already. We’ll keep treating it as it presents on a daily basis.”
Troisi has featured in 25 of Victory’s 26 games this season and, having recorded 25 appearances in 2017/18 and 26 in in 2016/17, he has almost been a permanent fixture of Muscat’s side since joining Victory three years ago.
The prospect of a key player missing crucial matches at the business end of the Hyundai A-League season is one Muscat, or Troisi, does not want to have to face.
“He’s a bit flat,” Muscat added.
“Like I said, this time of the season it’s far from ideal. We’ll give him every opportunity. He’s working hard and we’ll have to wait and see.”