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Santalab cleared to take on Phoenix in AL

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 Steve Zemek

Western Sydney have hosed down speculation striker Brendon Santalab is playing injured, clearing him for the A-League clash with Wellington.

The Wanderers front man had a number of uncharacteristic missed opportunities in last week's loss to Melbourne Victory and left Tuesday's training session early, fuelling concern he is struggling with a calf problem.

Coach Tony Popovic insisted Santalab's early exit from the session was a part of his planned regime and he would be right to take on the Phoenix in Auckland on Saturday.

"There's no injury to the calf," Popovic said on Thursday.

"He just went off early which is a part of his program but there's certainly no injury. He's fine and trained yesterday."

Santalab's fitness will come as a relief for the sixth-placed Wanderers who have struggled in front of goal.

He also shapes as key with uncertainty surrounding the future of out-of-favour striker Kerem Bulut, who has been dropped for back-to-back matches.

Popovic again deflected questions about Bulut and would not engage in speculation about whether he would again be a part of the match day squad.

"Look, he's in the squad and again that's a decision we'll make later in the week," Popovic said.

Wanderers back-up keeper Jerrad Tyson appears likely to run on against the Phoenix after serving a one-week suspension.

Andrew Redmayne has looked shaky between the posts in recent weeks and was criticised for his performance during their 3-0 defeat to the Victory.

Popovic was keeping his cards close to his chest but said Tyson would come into calculations.

"We'll have a look and we've got today and tomorrow still to train," Popovic said.

"Jerrad did a good job when he was in the team. We've got two good keepers and that's a choice I've got to make."

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