Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic is hopeful Andy Keogh will be fit for the start of the A-League season, but the striker can't afford any setbacks.
Keogh will miss Tuesday night's FFA Cup clash with Melbourne Victory in Perth after damaging ankle ligaments at training.
The 32-year-old's injury could open the door for former Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab, who followed Popovic to Glory.
Perth kick off their A-League campaign at home to the Wanderers on October 31, and Popovic is hopeful Keogh will be fit by then.
"We're optimistic that he'll start the season," Popovic said.
"That's the target we've set - a realistic goal.
"If there's a little setback or we have to delay that, then so be it.
"He's training very hard to keep his fitness up. He's very confident he can make that game. Once he starts training, and running, twisting, turning, we'll know if that's realistic."
Glory lost to EPL powerhouse Chelsea 1-0 last month, and they want to get on the winners' sheet in the round of 32 FFA Cup clash with Victory at Dorrien Gardens.
"We really want to be a side that people fear when they come to Perth," Popovic said.
"You have to earn that. It's easy just saying that. Maybe tomorrow we can start that process."
Popovic said Victory, who won the A-League title last season, is a club to aspire to.
"We want to be the best," Popovic said.
"We have started a process of improving ... and challenging for honours.
"We want to do that regularly, and Melbourne Victory is one of the benchmarks of the A-League that do that on a consistent basis."