Newcastle Jets set to welcome back Ronald Vargas from injury
Newcastle Jets might have lost one attacking weapon but they've re-gained another with marquee star Ronald Vargas set to make his A-League return this weekend.
Vargas has spent the last four months on the sidelines but trained fully on Monday and is in line for his first minutes since breaking his leg in round three against Brisbane Roar.
His comeback is timely as the Jets prepare to play their first match since the loss of Andrew Nabbout, who was sold last week to Japanese giants Urawa Red Diamonds, against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
Argentinian winger Pato Rodriguez is also likely to be involved after making an early return from a calf issue that was supposed to rule him out for a month.
"Andrew is a big part of where we are right now," Jets full-back Daniel Georgievski told reporters on Monday.
"He was my roommate, my good friend.
"We wish him well but at the same time, the positive is we've got Ronny back training with us full-time, Pato's back, so with a negative we have two positives.
"I think that's quite good."
However, Newcastle will be without striker Roy O'Donovan, who will serve the first of a two-week suspension for his alleged "assault" on Sydney FC defender Jordy Buijs.
Nabbout had filled in up front when O'Donovan was unavailable this season but young gun Joseph Champness is likely to move into that position for the clash against Wellington, which will take place at QBE Stadium on Auckland's north shore rather than the New Zealand capital.
The Jets haven't played since their stirring 2-1 win over the Sky Blues nearly two weeks ago, in which they also lost their captain Nigel Boogaard to injury.
Boogaard is unlikely to be sighted again this season, with Lachlan Jackson the obvious option to replace him in the centre of defence.
Newcastle have won just four of 14 matches played across the ditch in their history but given the turmoil at the Phoenix following the departure of coach Darije Kalezic, they'll fancy their chances.
"Didn't we have a horrible record [against] Sydney? We've drawn and won [against them]," Georgievski said.
"Record are there to be changed and that's what we're doing this year."