Wellington Phoenix midfielder Carlos Hernandez will miss Sunday's away clash with the Melbourne Heart.

The Costa Rican international has been laboured in recent weeks with a calf tear and was due to go for an MRI scan this afternoon to further investigate the problem.

``What it's done is it's prevented him from training most of the week and then he's come in at the end of the week and it's beginning to tell on his work rate and fitness during a match,'' Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said. ``So we have to get it right.''

With Hernandez out, Belgian import Stein Huysegems will likely drop in behind strikers Roy Krishna and Tyler Boyd, which makes for a dynamic attacking trio.


Utility Manny Muscat will return to the midfield this week after missing last Sunday's 1-1 draw with the Perth Glory due to suspension, while new recruit Shaun Timmins will start at left back in place of the injured Josh Brindell-South.

The Phoenix remain three points adrift of the top six and need to string together a few victories during the final five games of the regular season as they make a push towards the playoffs.

Sunday's game will also mark the 150th time skipper Andrew Durante has pulled on the Phoenix strip in the A-League.

"Obviously it's a very proud milestone for me,'' he said. "I guess with milestones, you look back on your career and when you finish your career you're really proud of those moments so this is another one that I'm really proud of and hopefully we get the right result.''

The 31-year-old also made 40 appearances in the A-League for the Newcastle Jets before he joined the Phoenix in 2008.

Durante's centre back partner Ben Sigmund only took a minor part in training at Newtown Park today due to tightness in his hamstring but should be fine to play on Sunday.