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Australian Football: Hooper back to boost Nix

Wellington Phoenix have been boosted by the news Gary Hooper will return from injury to give their chances of sealing a place in the A-League finals a lift.

The Nix are priced at 1/6 to finish in the top six of the competition and can seal their place with an upset win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Injury issues

Hooper has four goals in 10 games this season but he been on the sidelines since mid-March after picking up a calf injury.

The strike star is now back to full fitness and his return could not be better timed as Wellington head in to the final three games of the season. Ufuk Talay’s men need just one win from those games to secure a top-six spot.

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The Nix are also without Jaushua Sotirio through injury and Hooper’s return will bolster the Nix attack.

Proven goalscorer

"It's been good that he's been back on the park. He will be available to be in the squad for Melbourne Victory, but with limited minutes," Talay said.

"(It is) way earlier than we expected, which is a great sign for us and the group as well. To get him back involved in a very important time of the season is great.

"Hoops is a proven goalscorer and to have him back in the squad for us is a very positive sign moving forward."

Wellington sit fifth on the A-League ladder heading in to Friday’s clash. But they are just a point behind Adelaide United in fourth and have played a game less.

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