Western Sydney coach Carl Robinson has resisted the temptation to rush back Mitch Duke for the clash with Wellington Phoenix, but he faces a tough decision on a host of other players.
Duke, who has been loaned out to the Wanderers for the rest of the A-League season from Saudi side Al-Taawoun, did a session with Western Sydney on Friday after completing his two-week quarantine stint.
Robinson cannot wait to see the Socceroos striker back in action, and there was talk Duke could even make a cameo off the bench against the Phoenix at WIN Stadium on Sunday.
But Duke was a notable omission when the squad was released on Friday afternoon.
"He's keen to get on board as quickly as he can," Robinson said earlier in the day.
"If you asked Mitch he'll say he's ready to play. I know he wants to play, I want him to play. I want to get him up to speed as quick as I can.
"But it's important I don't throw him out there for selfish reasons and then get him injured. I would never do that, and it's no help for the team."
Former EPL midfielder Jordon Mutch is a chance to make his Wanderers debut, but Robinson said he would assess the fitness of other players before making a decision on the Englishman.
James Troisi and Bruce Kamau were both subbed off early in the second half of the Wanderers' 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory on February 10.
Former Germany international Nicolai Muller has been named in the extended squad for Sunday's match after recovering from a hamstring injury, but Robinson did not give any guarantees about who would actually be fit to play.
"Nicolai's a complex character, we know his body is pretty complex as well. I'll talk to him. If it seems he's good to go, then we'll make a decision," Robinson said.
"Two or three players have still got little niggles, but we're in a better place than we were last week.
"I won't take any risks with any of them (if they're not ready)."
The Wanderers will be without Scottish midfielder Graham Dorrans after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against Victory.
Western Sydney are on a six-match unbeaten run, while the Phoenix sit equal last with just one win and a draw from six games.
STATS THAT MATTER
*Western Sydney defeated Wellington 1-0 in their most recent A-League meeting in July last year, ending a four-game losing run against them.
*Wellington have won only one of their past 11 A-league games (D3, L7), conceding an average of 1.5 goals per game in that spell.
*Wellington's Ulises Davila has had 17 shots from outside the box this season, four more than any other player.