Melbourne City defender Ritchie De Laet is “no where near 100 per cent” according to head coach Warren Joyce.

De Laet has been instrumental for City this season, providing plenty in sorting out the side’s defence in addition to contributing up front with three league goals.

Though this positive start at his new club has been done under the injury cloud with Warren Joyce confirming the 32-year-old is being cautiously managed by the club.

Despite the recurring injury De Laet has only missed one game for Melbourne City this season and it does not appear Joyce will be looking to rest his fullback any time soon.

“He’s probably not at his best but we’ve been managing him through it,” Joyce said.

“He was told he’d be out for a few months and he’s battled through it.

“His contribution has been excellent this season.

“He is looking better, he’s doing more training but he’s no where near 100 per cent.

“We’re going to continue to manage him until he’s fully fit.”

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In what is a tough time of the season for all A-League clubs, City will play three matches in a week and Joyce says he will not plan too far ahead in relation to his squad.

“We don’t have the luxury of planning too far ahead,” Joyce said.

“You can be too clever sometimes in resting players and planning ahead.

“At the moment there aren’t enough players and we have to win every game.”

The club is also monitoring attacker Dario Vidosic who was a late out in City’s last game against the Newcastle Jets after injuring his hip in the warm up.

Slip ups from Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC have opened the door for Melbourne City who could climb to equal second with a win against Brisbane Roar on Friday night.

But Joyce is not looking at the ladder just yet with his only concern being his side win every game and remain in the hunt as the season tightens up.

“The league will start taking shape and we need to stay in the mix,” Joyce said.

“We need to win as many as possible during this period.”

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