Aloisi's Heart on hold

John Aloisi's debut appearance for Melbourne Heart will have to wait another week, with the striker not yet ready to return from the hamstring injury which could have spelt the end of his illustrious career.

John Aloisi's debut appearance for Melbourne Heart will have to wait another week, with the striker not yet ready to return from the hamstring injury which could have spelt the end of his illustrious career.

Aloisi had targeted Sunday's home game against Perth as his return date but after consultation with coach John van 't Schip and Heart's medical staff has opted to play it cautiously and instead make his return the following week against North Queensland.

"I'm dying to get on the pitch. I won't get out there this week, I've got another friendly game next week and if I pull up alright then I should be hopefully involved in the following game. I'm feeling good, I'm feeling better and better each day," the Socceroos legend said.

"I had a chat with John and the medical staff and they think it-s best to go another week. Have one more friendly game and try and get 90 minutes under my belt."

Aloisi has not played since the second leg of last year's major semi-final, where he injured his hamstring when playing for Sydney FC against Melbourne Victory. The resultant surgery has meant a long recovery period.

"The tendon came off the bone. I had to get that stapled back on. I had to make sure I built up all the muscles and got all the rehab," he said.

The long rehabilitation process has tempered his excitement at joining the new club, saying there were times he wasn't sure if he would ever make it onto the pitch in the red and white stripes.

"It-s been tough because, this is going to be my last season and you just want to be out there playing and trying your best and doing well for the new team. I've worked really hard in the off-season, I'm doing the rehab, they've been brilliant here the medical staff and getting back to full fitness," the 34-year-old said.

Having recovered his fitness, Aloisi said it is now just a matter of finding the form over his first few matches. He sees himself as playing a bit-part early and then contributing more as the season wears on.

"Hopefully I'm in the squad, coming in off the bench a few times and see how it goes. (The long season) helps, it helps not only myself, it helps the team as well. If the team doesn't do so well at the beginning, we've got time to recover. We haven-t had the best of starts points wise, but I think we've improved," he said.