Keeper Nathan Coe must prove his fitness at Melbourne Victory training or risk losing his place to Lawrence Thomas for the home match with the Newcastle Jets on Friday night.
Coe's back muscles tightened up away to Wellington Phoenix last Sunday, forcing him off in the second half of the 3-0 win at Westpac Stadium.
WRAP: Wellington Phoenix 0 Melbourne Victory 3
The 30-year-old goalkeeper could yet be replaced in the starting line-up by his understudy Thomas, with head coach Kevin Muscat set to make a decision before the Round 25 fixture at AAMI Park.
"Apart from Nathan Coe, everyone's trained," he said.
"His back stiffened up for whatever reason on the way over [to New Zealand], we can't pinpoint [it].
"It's nothing to be concerned about but freeing him up in the short space of time has been hard work for the medical department.
"This morning will tell us. We've obviously flown back. There's a day of travel coming back for him which didn't help him. But each day he's improved dramatically and this morning he's going to train, so for my mind he's ok.
"He needs to train today, I'm not going to go in blind."
Asked if he had any doubts over the ability to Thomas to step up if needed, the coach said: "No, not all."
"That's why he (Coe) needs to train today. I've said all along that the competition for places is great and there's no difference in that department. Nathan was brilliant last week and when Lawrence come on he contributed as well. He made a couple of good saves."
Victory lead the Hyundai A-League going into the final weeks of the season. They are level on points with second-placed Perth Glory, albeit with a game in hand over their title rivals.
Despite silverware now being within the team's grasp, Muscat has insisted the focus of his players will be firmly on this weekend's clash with the league's bottom club.
"It's no different now," he said of Victory's attitude.
"The same trophies are available now that were at game one and at day one of pre-season back in July. The reality is we're a lot closer, I understand [that]. But the focus has still got to be clear.
"Back in Round 1 the focus was on getting three points because that's going to give you a big chance of having any success. [It's] no different here.
"Anyone who wants to fall into that comfort zone, won't be allowed [to]. The group won't allow it.
And they certainly won't be involved because there's a serious competition for places now and you've really got to be at your best to be getting a game."