Oskar Zawada is poised to return for Wellington Phoenix, bolstering the unlikely A-League Men ladder-leaders' chances against the visiting Newcastle Jets on Saturday.
"He's trained well this week and he's in consideration to start," coach Giancarlo Italiano said of his star Polish striker who impressed in training this week.
Zawada scored four times in as many matches before a groin injury ended his hot start.
The Phoenix have maintained their form in his absence with young forward Ben Old netting the only goal of the game in last week's trip to Western United.
Wellington have been the surprise packets of the season, unbeaten through six games with four wins to sit two points clear on top.
It's not the start many pundits had predicted for the Nix, with a youth-first mentality, few transfers in the off-season and a first-season coach in charge.
Italiano said he was surprised with his side's early results, while cautioning it was about to get harder.
"Wasn't expecting to be in this position so early, but the flip side of that is that now we've got a big target on our heads ... every game becomes more competitive and worth more," he said.
"We're only at round six. It only really matters when we get to the end of the season, where we finish."
The Jets arrive in New Zealand after back-to-back defeats, with coach Rob Stanton missing Jacob Dowse, Jason Berthomier and Lachlan Bayliss to injury.
With a young squad, Italiano said being top "gives belief we're competitive", but warned maintaining high-level performances would be tougher.
"Younger players are inconsistent, inconsistent by nature. So we're really working hard to make sure that there's a baseline that we can work off," he said.
Italiano said he would still be sticking with his young guns - starters Lukas Kelly-Heald, Finn Surman, Alex Paulsen and substitutes last week Finn Conchie and Old - rather than rotate them, for now.
"I like to reward consistency. I think it's something that players can rely on ... and it also means that every position is valued. I don't like making changes for the sake of making changes," he said.
"We need to be aware that coming into this December-January period, there's going to be a turnover of squad because of the amount of games."
Australian Associated Press