Sigmund the latest casualty as Phoenix start year without key players

Any hopes of a New Year revival for Wellington Phoenix could be a long way away, with up to eight frontline players ruled out of this weekend's clash against Brisbane Roar by injury or suspension.

"I'd like the referees to change their game a wee bit," said Ernie Merrick. Source: 1 Sport

Veteran fullback Ben Sigmund limped out of training this morning and is expected to miss an extended period of time, while star striker Roy Krishna could miss at least a month with a broken finger.

"Four weeks minimum because he has to see a surgeon, I think they may not operate, but he has to go in a special cast and he'll be out of action for a while," head coach Ernie Merrick said.

Also out injured is Jeffrey Sarpong, Alex Rufer, and Louis Fenton.

Adding to their woes, Roly Bonevacia, Alex Rodriguez, and Manny Muscat will all miss Sunday's clash through suspension.

Bonevacia and Rodriguez are ineligible to play after receiving five yellow cards each during the season, while Muscat will miss two matches for his elbow on Central Coast player Roy O'Donovan last weekend.

A decision on O'Donovan’s head-butt on Muscat is expected tonight, with Merrick keen to move past the incident.

"I'm really disappointed about the whole affair, but I've said what I have to say last week, you all quoted me I think and now we move forward, I won't persist with it anymore," Merrick said.

The Phoenix remain sixth on the competition ladder despite losing their last two matches. They play the top of the table Brisbane Roar on Sunday in Wellington.