Such is the importance of Tomi Juric to Macarthur FC's A-League Men season, Bulls coach Ante Milicic insists he won't rush the fringe Socceroo into his side for Saturday's clash with Sydney FC.
Juric was a notable absentee from Macarthur's match-day squad for their opening round fixture against Wellington last weekend and despite training well during the week, remains in doubt to take on the Sky Blues.
"We've got a little bit more confidence to include him in the match-day squad but again today was a difficult day to get much done on the field and with the conditions set to remain the same for tomorrow we'll leave that decision up until kick off," Milicic said.
"He had a little setback during pre-season and he just hasn't had the match minutes in there and we want to build him up.
"He means so much for this team that he's just one that I feel you don't want to take risks with at this stage.
"He's one that in these early stages will have to go week-to-week but he means so much for us in that front third."
Juric's fitness wasn't the only concern Milicic had to contend with before facing the Phoenix, with the match moved at short notice from Campbelltown Stadium to Newcastle after the surface at the Bulls' home ground was deemed unsafe.
The state of the pitch means Macarthur are unlikely to play at the venue for several weeks.
Penrith's BlueBet Stadium has been confirmed as the host venue for next weekend's clash with Central Coast with the Bulls saying they are "looking forward" to working with Campbelltown Stadium about returning to the venue for the following match against Newcastle on December 19.
Australian Associated Press