Skoko sidelined

Melbourne Heart marquee signing Josip Skoko is set to miss at least four weeks with a hamstring injury in a major blow for the Hyundai A-League new boys.

Melbourne Heart marquee signing Josip Skoko is set to miss at least four weeks with a hamstring injury in a major blow for the Hyundai A-League new boys.

Skoko, who had a limited pre-season, suffered the injury early in Friday's 1-1 draw with Newcastle and scans have revealed that he will need to spend around a month on the sidelines.

Coach John van 't Schip was pragmatic about the loss of his star midfielder, but is confident he has the depth to cover Skoko's absence.

"We have to deal with that, that's how football goes. We've got a squad and in that squad we have good replacement players. We have players who can play in that position as well. It-s something that happened and we just need to go on," he said.

"(How long he is out) depends on the first week and how things go. The prognostics are like four week, four-to-six weeks, but it depends on how he recovers. He's 34 and some playes at 34 recover quick, some take longer. We have to see how things go."

Wayne Srhoj, who is also coming off a limited pre-season preparation, is the obvious choice to replace Skoko in the starting line-up but Van 't Schip is adamant he has multiple options.

"We have some other kinds of options. Wayne is of course a player with a lot of experience and has played a lot of A-League games in that role as well. Wayne is one option," he said. "There are a few other options, but it's not that I have to tell you them."

Skoko's injury is a major loss to Heart after what has been a tough opening two games, where they have been beaten by the Mariners and secured a lucky draw against the Jets. But while he is keen to see the team start winning, Van 't Schip feels things are progressing on the right path.

"On one side I'm disappointed but on the other side we know that playing this kind of game, it's a difficult way of playing. It-s about creating. It-s easier to defend and to be destructive, it-s much more difficult to create and play the game. That's our path, that's the way we want to play and that's going to take time," he said.

Defender Michael Beauchamp agreed, saying there was no panic among the players that things weren't progressing as they would have hoped.

"The two teams that we have played have been very physical and very tough in defence and it-s made our job a little bit harder than we would have hoped," he said.

"We've only been together as a full squad for a month and things like this take time. We still have a few injuries and a couple of the boys only just come back for that first game there. It's just taking our time to find our feet."