Terry Antonis could resume training this week after the midfielder was cleared of a serious knee injury, head coach Kevin Muscat said.
Antonis, 25, hurt his knee during Victory’s 2-1 loss to Sydney FC at the SCG on Saturday.
While the star midfielder missed the trip to China for Wednesday’s AFC Champions League meeting with Guangzhou Evergrande, he could be back in training in the coming days.
“It’s good news, actually very good news,” Muscat said on Tuesday.
“In relation to the extent of the injury, he’s been cleared of anything sinister or long-term so structurally he’s fine and sound.
“It’s a matter of now starting his rehab and now that he has settled down and the swelling’s almost gone, we’re optimistic and hopeful that he’ll start training in the next day or two.”
A knee injury saw goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas miss the clash with the Sky Blues, with Matt Acton performing well in his place.
Muscat is unsure if Thomas, 26, will be available against Guangzhou, while he praised Acton.
“Lawrence is better for the extra couple of days,” he said.
“Whether he’s in contention or not time will tell, but we certainly won’t be taking any risks because on the flip side Matty Acton was outstanding in his performance in his last game.”
Victory goes into its meeting with Guangzhou after two losses to start its Group F campaign.
While aware of the challenge awaiting his team, Muscat said Victory had a massive opportunity.
“From our perspective a lot of time (has been spent) into having a look into the way Guangzhou play,” he said.
“They’re at home, expecting a massive crowd which is exciting for us as well.
“Having said all that, with the calibre of players, it’s by no means going to be an easy feat, but it’s a great opportunity for us I think, a real good opportunity to perform well enough to get something out of the game.”