Wellington Phoenix soccer midfielder Daniel could be sidelined for up to three weeks after picking up an ankle injury in the 2-0 loss to A-League leaders Central Coast.
While his team-mates stay in Australia to prepare for the clash against Sydney next Saturday, Daniel will return to Wellington for treatment.
Physiotherapist Wayne Roberts said the injury appeared to be a high ankle sprain.
"There is no chance of him playing against Sydney so the best scenario was to get him back to Wellington as soon as possible for a scan," Roberts said.
"Hopefully it is nothing more serious but we need to find out quickly."
After having been virtually injury-free since joining the Phoenix as a foundation player five years ago, Daniel said he had never felt such discomfort as he did against the Mariners on Saturday night.
"Playing the last 10 minutes was really painful but I didn't want to go off because I had gone on as a substitute," he said.
"It got even worse after the game and I couldn't sleep last night."
Meanwhile, Brazilian-born Daniel, whose contract ends in April and who has fielded offers from Singapore and Thailand, said his first choice was to stay with the Phoenix, and he was having discussions with the club.
The 32-year-old, who reached 100 appearances for the Phoenix in January, also said he had ambitions to represent the All Whites now that he was qualified to do so.