Muscat gone for four

Melbourne Victory will be without skipper Kevin Muscat for the next four to six weeks with confirmation the veteran defender tore a hamstring in the season-opening loss to Central Coast last Thursday.

Melbourne Victory will be without skipper Kevin Muscat for the next four to six weeks with confirmation the veteran defender tore a hamstring in the season-opening loss to Central Coast last Thursday.

Scans have confirmed Muscat has a small tear in his left hamstring, an injury which is likely to keep him out of the next three matches at least.

"Kevin was scanned late yesterday afternoon. Our medical guys have met and reviewed the pictures and we can confirm he has a small tear in his left hamstring," Victory football operations manager Gary Cole said. "This is a new injury, similar to last year, where he had a small tear in the-pre-season, and he recovered to play every minute of every game."

Cole said that while losing Muscat was a setback so early in the season, he is confident the team can cover the absence.

"It's not something that overly concerns us, we expect him to be out for around four to six weeks. Hopefully back for the Newcastle game in Melbourne (September 3). We just look forward to being the same. Kevin, having the same leadership role with the club, he adds such great value to the team on or off the field," Cole said.

Muscat, who turned 36 last Friday, said that it wasn't the way he wanted to start the season but he was confident he would recover quickly and be back in the heart of Melbourne's defence for much of the campaign.

"I would have preferred not to have the injury, but it's happened now and all I can do is give all my efforts into getting the rehab done and getting back as soon as possible," he said.

"I'm pretty confident that doing the rehab and giving it 100 percent, that I'll come back and have an influence on the majority of the season."

"I'm hoping to come back a lot sooner than that (4-6 weeks). But I've obviously got to do my rehab. I've got full confidence in my medical staff here and last season I had a hamstring tear and missed four weeks and played every game after that."

Muscat signed a one-year playing contract extension earlier this year and denied that this latest setback as a sign that he should have pulled the pin on his decorated career already.

"People have had their opinion on whether I should have retired or not, I've consulted the people whose opinion I respect. I maintain I've made the right decision. I'll get the rehab done and can't wait to have an input for the remainder of the season," he said.

Melbourne has ruled out signing a short-term injury replacement for Muscat, as it doesn't expect him to be out for long enough. Cole confirmed the club is looking at signing another striker, rather than a defender, with the spot left vacant by Jose Luis Lopez's departure.