Mariners' anxious wait

Star Mariners midfielder Patricio Perez will need to come through a fitness test on Friday if he is to play in Sunday's Hyundai A-League grand final against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

Star Mariners midfielder Patricio Perez will need to come through a fitness test on Friday if he is to play in Sunday's Hyundai A-League grand final against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

A hamstring injury sustained in the second half of last week's final victory over Gold Coast has kept the former Argentina under-20 representative off the Mariners training ground this week.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold is desperate for his prized recruit to be fit for the season showpiece but will not take any risks, especially with a capable replacement eager to start.

Teenager Mustafa Amini has been outstanding in his debut season in the competition and would love to start if Perez is not selected.

Amini replaced Perez in the 1-0 preliminary final win over Gold Coast last week and had plenty of good touches late in the second half as the Mariners started to get on top of Miron Bleiberg's resilient side.

However, -romoting the Australian under-20 star is not Arnold's only option as veteran midfielder John Hutchinson is also in contention for a recall to the starting side.

Hutchinson normally plays in a defensive midfield role but has shown in previous campaigns he has the ability to play behind the strikers.

"If Patricio doesn't get through the fitness test he won't play,'' Arnold declared on Wednesday.

"We'll be taking no risks. Hopefully he pulls up okay but if he doesn't I'm confident in the players we've got.''

"Musty is having a ball this season and Hutch has plenty of big game experience. We've got options.''