Injury Time - Week 17

Midfielder Wayne Srhoj will return to the selection frame after recovering from a quadriceps strain ahead of Melbourne Heart FC’s match against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

Midfielder Wayne Srhoj will return to the selection frame after recovering from a quadriceps strain ahead of Melbourne Heart FC-s match against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

The 29-year-old, who has been out of action since the New Year, returned to the training paddock last week, impressing with his fitness sufficiently to be in contention for a place in the squad travelling to New Zealand.

Starting nine matches this season, Srhoj-s campaign has been compromised by injury, but he remains one of Heart-s most important contributors, playing a critical role in the side-s stellar run of form throughout November and December.

With Srhoj back under consideration for selection, head coach John van ‘t Schip will have greater flexibility to rotate his squad following a tortuous week involving three games in six days.

Fred, Nick Kalmar and Kliment Taseski are the remaining players on Heart-s injury list, with the trio unlikely to make a first team appearance until the latter part of February at the earliest.

After suffering a groin injury, Fred is slated to miss a further four weeks of action, while Nick Kalmar-s back issues continue to curtail his ambitions this season.

Taseski meanwhile has made giant strides forward in recent weeks, introducing running into his training regimen for the first time since he was sidelined with a broken foot in October.

The former Jimmy Rooney Medallist will be available for selection in the National Youth League in the coming weeks, marking the next stop on his road to recovery.

In other first team news, Kamal Ibrahim and Paul Reid featured for John Aloisi-s youth side against Brisbane Roar on Sunday, playing 90 and 45 minutes respectively in the 1-5 loss, while Adrian Zahra was rested.

The full squad will return to training on Thursday ahead of the cross-Tasman journey, having enjoyed an extra day-off following last week-s three match swing at AAMI Park.