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Honda set for A-League bench return

Melbourne Victory marquee Keisuke Honda says he's recovered from a hamstring injury but is short of condition ahead of their A-League clash with Perth.

Honda set for A-League bench return

Melbourne Victory marquee Keisuke Honda says he's recovered from a hamstring injury but is short of condition ahead of their A-League clash with Perth.

KEISUKE HONDA of the Victory poses for the media at a Melbourne Victory A-League press conference at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia.
KEISUKE HONDA of the Victory poses for the media at a Melbourne Victory A-League press conference at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Australia. Picture:Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Keisuke Honda says he's 80 per cent fit but ready to return to the A-League as a substitute in Sunday's table-topping clash with Perth Glory.

The Melbourne Victory marquee has missed more than a month with a hamstring injury, with coach Kevin Muscat saying he is likely to be involved from the bench.


"My leg is almost 100 per cent but my condition is not that," Honda said.

"I needed to train hard every day from now on. I'm not enough to play 90 minutes yet. I might have a chance to play second half ... it all depends on the game situation.

"Maybe if I have to play second half if the situation is maybe bad because maybe we have to score or attack."

Honda left the Victory side in mid-December after a six-game winning streak that coincidentally ended after his departure.

At the time, he was touted as a lay-down misere for the Johnny Warren Medal given a superb run of midfield displays.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat said Honda's return wasn't timed for the league leaders' visit - it was simply that he was ready.

Honda suggested he wanted to really hit his strides next month when Victory begin their continental campaign.

"I just thought that important is from March and the beginning of the Asian Champions League," he said.

"Important thing is I have to (be) fixed 100 per cent. It's almost close to that point."

The injury is one of the most significant of Honda's career, after a four-month layoff with a meniscus issue while with CSKA Moscow back in 2011.

The 32-year-old told his coach the realities of a long career were setting in.

"I hadn't gotten this kind of injury when I was young. I told Kevin, joking, I am old. I have to take care of myself," he said.

"It's bad but it's real. It's fact."

Muscat said "Keisuke will be involved" but he wasn't eager to shake up an in-form team, which has won four of its past five matches despite player unavailability.

"It'd be unrealistic and unfair to put Keisuke in the team immediately," he said.

"Not only for himself but the group have been tremendous in obtaining a large amount of points without Keisuke and other experienced players."

AAP


AAP




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