Mariners stars close to return

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna will be hoping for some good news when his team ramps up preparations for Friday night's Hyundai A-League blockbuster against Newcastle.

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna will be hoping for some good news when his team ramps up preparations for Friday night's Hyundai A-League blockbuster against Newcastle.

The Mariners have been hampered by injuries throughout the pre-season but McKinna is hopeful three key players will make welcome returns to the training paddock on Monday.

Defenders Dean Heffernan and Nigel Boogaard, along with Socceroos midfielder Mile Jedinak, are expected to resume training after battling leg injuries.

Jedinak and Heffernan missed the club's Pre-Season Cup campaign, while Boogaard suffered a thigh injury in the team's recent win over Queensland.

McKinna hopes the star trio will take part in training on Monday before attempting a full session on Wednesday.

"I'm hoping they can do something on Monday and if they can be at full tilt by Wednesday we'll consider all of them for Friday night,'' McKinna said.

"They are all very important for us but we don't want to take any risks to early in the season.''

The Mariners have already lost veteran midfielder Andre Gumprecht for three months and need some luck on the injury front ahead of the Round 1 showdown against the Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night.

The Jets beat the Mariners in last season's grand final. The teams met two times in trial matches with one win apiece.