Phoenix sweating on Pantelis

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has conceded Lucas Pantelis could be a no-show again this season.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert has conceded Lucas Pantelis could be a no-show again this season.

The 30-year-old made the move to the Phoenix from Adelaide United on a two-year deal for the 2011/12 A-League season but ruptured his left knee in pre-season and sat out the whole of that campaign.

An infection in the injury and the possibility of further surgery means there is a very real chance the dynamic midfielder may not pull on a Wellington shirt this season either.

"There is a chance (we might not see him)," Herbert said.

"Medically they are wanting to make sure they do everything right and make the right evaluation for him, but he's probably not looking healthy at this stage.

"The risk of it now is probably huge as far as breaking down and doing something to it again as opposed to not.

"In fairness to a player whose career is not finished yet, you want to give him the length of time to hopefully get the right outcome. But who knows. He's not flash at the moment."

There were a few absentees from the Phoenix's public training session on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Mark Paston is still five weeks away from full training after having screws removed from the leg he broke last season.

Defender Jimmy Downey is also expected to be out for a similar length of time, while midfielder Vince Lia rolled his ankle during training earlier in the week and is out for between one and three weeks.

Striker Mirjan Pavlovic has been loaned out to play in Sydney and that could also be an option for Downey and midfielder Cameron Lindsay, who didn't play a single game for the Phoenix last year and missed out on selection for the New Zealand Under-23 Olympic squad.

"Pavlovic will stay on loan there until September and we've got some thoughts around Cameron and Jimmy Downey (doing the same) when he comes back as well," Herbert said.

"That will give them time and work."

Co-owner Gareth Morgan said a pre-season tour of India and a match against the Central Coast Mariners were close to being finalised.

"It will probably happen in August by the look of it," Morgan said of the proposed two-week stay on the subcontinent.

"It will be a great bonding exercise for these guys. If we can pull it off, and we're pretty close, it will be well worth it.

"It looks like we'll have a game (against the Mariners) on the way over in Australia as well so there are about three games I think."