Former Socceroo Luke DeVere's career is not in jeopardy despite the luckless defender suffering yet another injury setback, Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi insists.
DeVere has had a knee operation which means he won't be able to train with his teammates until at least the end of August.
The 26-year-old has not played a first-team game for the Roar since last year's friendly against Spanish side Villarreal, in which he aggravated an old quadriceps injury to the point where he needed surgery.
DeVere later said he felt as if he was "pushed into" a match he didn't feel physically ready for.
The Roar has kept DeVere in cotton wool ever since but there appear to be genuine doubts over his ability to contribute to their A-League campaign - at least to the extent Aloisi might have hoped.
However, Aloisi said DeVere was not contemplating an early retirement, as some recent reports have claimed.
"Luke DeVere's never mentioned to me he wants to retire," Aloisi said.
"If everything goes well, he should be ready for round one, but with injuries you just don't know.
"We want to do our utmost to get him to a level we know he can get to.
"He's played for the Socceroos once before, against Germany, only a year ago.
"Hopefully we can get him back to that level, because it will only be good for us."
DeVere is in his second stint with the Roar, having left the club in 2011 for South Korean side Gyeongnam FC, where he spent four seasons.
Once considered a likely long-term Socceroos defender, DeVere has only ever earned one cap for the national team, completing 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Germany in March last year.