A-league players and coaches are bracing for the prospect of having to take on a new challenge in 2018.
Melbourne Victory’s Kekutas Mannehs and West Coast’s Matthew Pavlich will both miss a week’s rest after injuring their shoulder in Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.
Manneh, the reigning A-lister, is set to return to training in two weeks and Pavlich is set for his first pre-season match on August 25 against the Sydney Swans.
Both have played for the A- League’s Western Sydney Wanderers for a year and both are eligible for the first team.
Victory captain Andrew Hoole said Mannehuis injury could be the biggest challenge for a team that had already lost its leading goalscorer in the form of Andrew Hooly.
“The way it happened in the first half was very concerning,” Hoole told foxsports.com.au.
“I think you’ve got to be prepared for it.”
Pavlich missed two matches after suffering the injury while at Adelaide United.
The 24-year-old’s return will come after a week-long layoff that saw him sidelined for two weeks after he was involved in a car accident at a Sydney nightclub.
Manney, who scored seven goals in six games in 2017, is in contention for the Socceroos’ first team in his first season in the A.
He will join fellow Victory, West Coast and Western Sydney players Nick Riewoldt, Jordan De Goey and Jack Grimes as the league’s first-choice attacking midfielder.