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By ESPN Staff

Phoenix's Pantelis injury still a concern

With one notable exception, Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert's injury roster is working through off-season rehabilitation bang on schedule.

With just over three months until the new A-League season kicks off, Herbert is happy with the way his squad is tracking, barring the doubt surrounding midfielder Lucas Pantelis.

The former Adelaide United player ruptured knee ligaments last year in warm-up matches, and sat out the entire season.

On Sunday, Herbert admitted there was a distinct possibility Pantelis could miss this season too after picking up an infection in his injured knee.

"Medically, they're wanting to make sure they do everything right and make the right evaluation for him, but he's probably not looking healthy at this stage," he said on Sunday.

"In fairness to a player whose career is not finished yet, you want to give him the length of time to hopefully get the right outcome."

The rest of the Phoenix's walking wounded were well on track to recovery, Herbert added.

Goalkeeper Mark Paston is four or five weeks away from full training, after having screws removed from the leg he broke last year while defender Jimmy Downey - who had a horror injury run last season - is expected back around the same time.

The only other questions are around defensive midfielder Vince Lia, who rolled an ankle earlier in the week, but Herbert expects him to be back on the training paddock within three weeks.

Striker Mirjan Pavlovich, who broke his arm in last year's pre-season and appeared sporadically late in the Phoenix's campaign, is likely to remain in Sydney until the end of September racking up invaluable game time.


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