Swedish striker Ola Toivonen has been left in Australia as Melbourne Victory chase an A-League response in Auckland.
Victory, without Toivonen and captain Carl Valeri, were beaten handily by leaders Perth last weekend.
They must now confront Wellington Phoenix on Friday night with the suspended Terry Antonis joining them on the outer.
While Valeri's absence (hamstring) was expected, coach Kevin Muscat was hoping to have his towering forward join the team in New Zealand.
Instead, the Swede will miss a third-straight week, continuing the club's shocking run with injuries to foreigners this season.
Keisuke Honda missed seven weeks with a hamstring issue, with Georg Niedermeier and Raul Baena restricted to just six starts each due to various ailments.
The absence of Toivonen, who has scored 10 goals in his 13 appearances, continues a curious pattern of injury explanations from Victory.
The 32-year-old was understood as rested for the round 16 win over Central Coast after a knock in training.
While insisting he was still likely to play, Muscat flagged his possible absence from the round 17 loss to Glory before leaving him out of the squad.
After the match, he explained his absence as a flow-on effect of that knock.
"He has not been able to remove the blood around the bone enough to get full range," he said.
"The blood has calcified around the bone and it's just a waiting game for it to move and then get his full range ... he's not far away but it just seems like an eternity."
Victory's clash takes place at Eden Park and kicks off at 5:30pm (AEDT).