Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi has played down suggestions Harry Kewell is too injury prone to fulfil his status as a marquee player, insisting the forward's latest setback was purely accidental.
Kewell is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks after rolling his ankle during Heart training on Wednesday, immediately ruling him out of Friday's clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Aloisi denied the club had taken a risk on another Socceroos veteran after last year's signing of Grella who retired after one match for Heart.
"If there were muscle problems or groin injuries or something that comes with old age, then I will question what we have done but Harry's been fine right through pre-season," he said. "A rolled ankle you can never prevent... it can happen to an 18-year-old, it can happen to a 35-year-old."
Aloisi insists Kewell was "distraught" after suffering the injury as the 35-year-old looks to repay the faith Heart have shown in him.
"I haven't seen a player that upset by an injury in a long, long time," he said. "Harry was distraught because he wants to be out there, he wants to help the players. He wants to help the club that's given him another opportunity."
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic revealed he was well prepared to quell the threat of Kewell on Friday, but is adamant Heart still have plenty to offer without him.
"He's a very good player and he's not there. We thought he might be back in but these things happen," Popovic said. "(Against Brisbane Roar) they played very well... You could see they were very dangerous and played very well in the first half."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.