IRISH talisman Wes Hoolahan is set to be rushed into the Jets' squad as caretaker coach Craig Deans searches for an answer to their goal-scoring woes for the must-win battle with Western United at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
Hoolahan, a former Ireland international and Norwich City legend, hasn't played since suffering a serious ankle injury in the Jets' 1-0 loss to Adelaide United in the FFA Cup quarter-final in September.
The 37-year-old resumed full training last week and although Deans admits it would be a risk, given the Jets' dire situation, "it might be a risk worth taking."
"Wes is definitely keen and I'm sure he will be in my ear all week," Deans said. "You trust the older players to be able to make a smart decision on how they feel and how their body is. At the end of the day, it is my call."
Hoolahan was known as the Irish Messi during a ten-year stint at Norwich, including four in the English Premier League. Blessed with quick feet and quicker vision, he had started to form a dangerous combination with Dimi Petratos and striker Abdiel Arroyo before struck by injury.
The Jets again failed to convert a raft of chances in the 2-1 loss to Wellington, their fourth straight defeat.
"We need to score goals and it is not happening often enough at the moment," Deans said. "That is the one area where we might look to make some changes.
"Wes needs to get through tomorrow's session, which is a big one, and then I'll have a chat to him on Thursday and see how he pulls up. It might be a case of putting him in the squad for match day and have him around the team. Little things like that can give a lift to the team. There are plenty of options but it is a 50-50 at the moment."
In a further boost, the Jets are poised to sign Olyroos left back Connor O'Toole for the remainder of this season and two more.
The 22-year-old was part the Australian under-23 squad which last weekend qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo but has only made two appearances this season for Brisbane.
Bobby Burns has settled in at left back but the Northern Ireland 21-year-old is expected to return to Hearts at the end of his loan deal in May.
"We have historically had a shortage of left fullbacks," Jets operations manager Joel Griffiths said. "Bobby is doing a good job but he is on loan. Connor is the second best under-23 left back in the country behind Alex Gersbach who is the Olyroos captain."
Lachlan Jackson will have scans on Tuesday but the Jets anticipate the centreback will be sidelinded for a long period after damaging knee ligaments in the 2-1 loss to Wellington on Friday.
"It didn't look good on the video and he was in a brace and on crutches on the way home from New Zealand," Deans said. "It is looking like a long-term injury. Whether it is an ACL or something else I don't know for sure until we get the scan. It's disappointing for Lachy because I think he has shown, especially during the time Nigel was out, that he has the ability to play at this level and be a strong player. Fingers crossed it is not a major one, but we won't know until he has a scan."