Mariner's miraculous recovery

He thought he suffered a broken leg on Sunday but veteran Central Coast Mariner Andrew Clark is set to spearhead the defence in Saturday night's crucial Hyundai A-League clash with Melbourne.

He thought he suffered a broken leg on Sunday but veteran Central Coast Mariner Andrew Clark is set to spearhead the defence in Saturday night's crucial Hyundai A-League clash with Melbourne.

Clark is an almost certain starter in the Round 5 showdown against the top-of-the-table Victory at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Clark's expected availability is a major bonus for Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna with several players on the sideline.

Clark's place in the team looked in jeopardy early in the week after he was injured following a Richard Johnson tackle early in Sunday's scoreless draw with Wellington.

Clark spent several minutes on the sideline before returning and playing out the game. He has not been at full tilt at training since, but is desperate to play.

"It should be okay for Saturday night, I'm very hopeful," Clark said.

"At first I thought it was broken but eventually I could put pressure on it and I was right to play on. It's still tender but getting better every day."

After a steady start to the season the Mariners will be keen to discover their best attacking form against the Victory.

Strikers Nik Mrdja and Dylan Macallister, who both missed last week with the flu, are in contention for a return, while attacking midfielder Adrian Caceres is also battling for a spot in the starting side after coming off the bench last week.

Goalkeeper Mark Bosnich will also be desperate for a big performance in his first A-League match in front of the Mariners home crowd.