SHINJI Ono is unlikely to travel to New Zealand this weekend after suffering a slight groin strain in the Wanderers 3-1 defeat to Brisbane Roar.
The Japanese star was substituted before half-time as a precaution and Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic has given him a 50-50 chance for Sunday's match against Wellington.
"We're hopeful it's not a serious injury, which is great. At best he's 50-50 for that match, but at the moment we don't expect him to be up there.
"He's got a slight groin strain, we're happy it's not a bad one, but he would probably have to have a great recovery by Thursday or Friday to have a chance. At the moment I don't expect to see him out there, but the player is very optimistic that he's a chance so we'll wait and see."
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"He's a very important part of what we do, but it's an opportunity for someone to step up and stake a claim," he said.
Despite losing their first game in 18 regular season matches, Popovic says the feeling is quite good in the Wanderers camp.
The players learned some lessons from the game and are determined to improve.
"The boys are looking forward to getting on the track and preparing well for our next match," Popovic said.
The Phoenix are winless so far this season, but Popovic insists his team won't take them lightly.
"They're playing good football in every single match and we can certainly vouch for that after playing them in round two," he said.
"They played very well against us that day, we shared the spoils that day and it could have gone either way. We certainly have a lot of respect for them."