Melbourne Victory marquee Keisuke Honda will start against Perth Glory on Sunday evening despite suffering a knock at training.
The Japanese international landed awkwardly during Victory’s final preparations but manager Kevin Muscat assured reporters that the knock was not serious.
“He’s fine,” Muscat said.
“Just at training, it happens multiple times during a week. He landed awkwardly, it’s just an innocuous knock but he’ll be fine to play tomorrow.”
When pressed if Honda will start Muscat gave an immediate answer.
Victory fans will no doubt be hoping that is true with fellow superstar Ola Toivonen unlikely to feature with calf soreness.
Muscat said the club won’t be tempted to rush the Swedish striker back.
“He’s got a little bit of soreness in his calf, pretty low down,” Muscat said.
“We’ve been treating and getting it looked after so we haven’t been able to get enough work into him.
“It’s going to be one of those things that with the length of the season and the number of games we have towards the end of the season and with the international break in a few weeks we’re not going to rush anything.”
The Victory manager instead praised the efforts of replacement striker Kenny Athiu, backing the former Heidelberg United man to continue his solid form.
“I thought Kenny did a remarkable job for us last week,” he said.
“There’s the obvious things that everyone sees, his opportunities, his touches, but there’s so much more that goes into playing your role for the team and his understanding of what was required of him was outstanding.”
Heading into Sunday’s big Hyundai A-League match-up against Glory at AAMI Park, Muscat revealed the group were looking to concentrate on themselves as opposed to Tony Popovic’s new Perth outfit.
“We’ve managed to get some good work into the group in relation to having a look at last week’s game and identifying some positives from the performance and working hard on improving those positives,” he said.
“Naturally as we always do we’ve had a good look at them, after analysing and reviewing ourselves.
“They’re playing a different shape and system to what Perth has previously played with the three or five at the back.
“I thought they did ok in their game last weekend but this week’s been more about what we do within our structure from last week to keep improving on areas.”