Muscat on verge

Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat is confident but not yet willing to declare himself a certainty to return for Friday night's must win Hyundai A-League clash against old rivals Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat is confident but not yet willing to declare himself a certainty to return for Friday night's must win Hyundai A-League clash against old rivals Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Muscat has been sidelined since the opening round of the season due to a serious hamstring injury and in the five matches he has missed, the reigning has won just once and with just one win and three draws from six matches is in eighth place on the ladder.

But after almost coming up for last week's 1-1 home draw against Wellington Phoenix, Muscat looks set to finally make his much-anticipated return this week provided he gets through the final training session of the week on Thursday.

"At this point in time I am more than optimistic but I have learned my lesson of last week and I realise I have to get through another session," he said on Wednesday following the Victory's training session at Monash University.

"Today was always going to be a lighter day so I still have to get through another session with a view to travel and that is what I will do if everything goes accordingly."

Muscat said his hamstring has improved significantly this week after the club decided to give him another week to recuperate.

"I thought realistically last week I gave myself every chance (of returning) but the feeling, the difference between this week and last week makes me realise now that I wasn't ready (to play last week)."

"But I have learned my lessons from last week and I am pretty confident (of playing this week) so fingers crossed I get through tomorrow's session and travel to Adelaide."

And while Melbourne has endured a slow start to its title defence, Muscat said the team is taking heart from the fact that a win in Friday night's grand final re-match will lift the team from eighth spot to equal third on the ladder with Brisbane Roar.

"Without a doubt we are certainty not panicking (about the team's slow start to the season) even though we have to be realistic," he said.

"We have not been happy with our performances let alone the results so that is something we have got to turn around and we can start by focusing on our performance first and then hopefully the results will follow."