Lochhead shakes injury

Tony Lochhead is feeling upbeat about his chances of being fit for the start of the new Hyundai A-League season after returning from the World Cup with a niggling groin injury.

Tony Lochhead is feeling upbeat about his chances of being fit for the start of the new Hyundai A-League season after returning from the World Cup with a niggling groin injury.

The Phoenix defender has played no part in his side's pre-season fixtures against Brisbane and Adelaide since returning from the All Whites' unbeaten campaign in South Africa and looks set to miss Friday's match against Argentine side Boca Juniors at Westpac Stadium.

But the 28-year-old says he is making good progress and has targeted the August 13 opening clash with Gold Coast United for his return.

"At the moment the top priority is just to get back out on the field. It's going well at the moment and my aim is definitely to be playing in that first game," he said.

"[The groin] is starting to feel pretty good. I was back out there doing a bit of running and sprinting today.

"I don't know if I'll be involved in the game on Friday but hopefully next week I'll be back out training. The progress is pretty good so I'm feeling positive about it."

Lochhead, who underwent surgery to fix a persistent groin problem prior to the World Cup, said this latest injury was a slightly different one but that it had still been a frustrating few weeks being on the sidelines.

"Coming from the World Cup and then having to sit on the sidelines for the last couple of weeks it is a bit tough," he admitted.

"But it's sort of a blessing in disguise because it's given me a bit of a break and a refresh before the season starts again."

Wellington still has three spots on its roster to fill before the end of the month and Argentine playmaker Roberto Carlos Cornejo arrives in Wellington on Thursday on trial and is expected to feature against his compatriots the following night. Strikers Magno Vieira, Mirjan Pavlovic and Sean Lovemore also remain on trial.

Vieira and Pavlovic could get a chance to impress against Boca, with Pavlovic and Lovemore vying for the club's final under-21 contract.

Defender Jade North, a former Newcastle Jets team-mate of Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante, has already been offered a contract by the Phoenix but has yet to decide if he will head to New Zealand.

North is keen to leave Norway, where he contracted to Tromso until the end of August, and would be the ideal replacement for Jon McKain who joined Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr last month

Lochhead and the majority of his All Whites team-mates and coaches - plus Phoenix and Boca Junior players - will take part in a parade through the centre of Wellington on Wednesday in recognition of their efforts in South Africa and to celebrate Friday's festival match.