Linchpin Wellington Phoenix defender Steven Taylor will miss at least the next two weeks of A-League action due to a quadricep injury.
On Sunday, coach Ufuk Talay confirmed the Englishman would play no part in Monday's clash against Melbourne City, after limping from the field early in the 1-0 loss to Macarthur last weekend.
After missing Sunday's match, midfielder Reno Piscopo is also unlikely to be cleared to return, Talay adds.
"[Taylor] won’t be available for the game on Monday evening," Talay says.
"At this stage, Reno is touch and go, but I believe highly unlikely to be available as well.
"[Taylor] had a grade one strain in his quad so he will miss a couple of weeks at this stage, but he's tracking well.
The 35-year-old was a strong and reliable presence in the backfield during the crushing 4-1 win over the Melbourne Victory, his first game since his return to the NZ team from a stint in India.
"He's been on his feet the last couple of days which is good news for us, and I might bring him back a little earlier, but at the same time we need to be cautious that we don't bring him back too early."
Taylor's injury forces Talay to adopt yet another centre-back combination, with Luke DeVere and Liam McGing also sidelined by injury.
Either Joshua Laws or Te Atawhai Hudson-Wihongi will start alongside Tim Payne, he confirms.
Talay realises his team will need to be at its best against Melbourne City, who he's certain will be hungry to get back to winning ways after Western United snapped their four-game win streak on Thursday.
"I know they lost their last game against Western United they're the inform team in the competition," Talay says.
"They're a very fluid team, play some very good attack football and have some really good players that can hurt you.
"For us, it's a great opportunity for our players and a great challenge to step up and showcase themselves and show what they can actually do because i still feel we are a great footballing team.
"I still believe we've played some good football team this season at times but the inconsistency of players being in and out has hurt us."