THE Melbourne Heart are likely to go into their first home game of the 2011-2012 Hyundai A-League Season without the services of two of their key players.

Goalkeeper Clint Bolton and Simon Colosimo look likely to remain on the sidelines for this week’s match against Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Heart coach John van’t Schip today confirming that the club was no closer to pencilling in a return date for the star keeper.

“He’s doing a little bit of pitch work and depending [on] how he progresses he’ll do more and more each day.  So we have to really look at it day by day and it could be two weeks, it could be four weeks. It’s difficult to really say.”

van’t Schip though, had a somewhat more optimistic prognosis on the former Heart skipper.

“Simon’s looking a lot better. He played last weekend, played 30 minutes with the youth team so he’s training next week fully with us, and hopefully yeah, we can have him with the team,” he said.

“We have to see also with Simon, that we look day by day, but if it progresses like he is doing now, there’s a chance that he could be with the squad for the game against Perth.”

Despite the disappointment of the three-goal loss on Sunday, van’t Schip was full of praise for stand-in goalkeeper Nikolai Roganovic.  The coach saying the former Green Gully stopper would have a lot to take out of last week’s match and the club would place their faith in him again against Perth Glory.

“It’s very difficult coming from the VPL only a month, really, in training with us, and then having to substitute Clint Bolton is a big task but he has done that,” said Van’t Schipp.

“We told him ‘put (last week) behind you, you have that experience now, you know what it means to play A-League… we know that you’re a good goalkeeper and you showed it in the VPL.’ The pressure was there after the first goal and at the end, of course, losing like that is not nice and especially if you’re making your first appearance.”

“We looked around for about a year, we’ve seen him play a lot of games and he’s a very good goalkeeper.”

Despite the injury concerns, the Melbourne Heart coach said that the side were looking forward to meeting Perth this weekend.

“I’ve seen them play against Adelaide and they were very impressive, especially in the first half.

“Adelaide didn’t really get out of their own half and they created a lot of chances. It should have been maybe 2 or 3 nil in the first half. “

“They looked very good with Smeltz and Mehmet up front; two big strong physically good strikers and the midfield with Burns and Miller, they looked balanced, so we know that it’s going to be a tough game, but we’re up for the challenge.”


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