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Socceroo Milligan expects to be fit for France

The Melbourne Victory captain has played down concerns about his fitness after being forced from field in a warm-up game against Adelaide United

Mark Milligan says he has been carrying a minor knee problem in recent weeks but is expected to be fit for the Socceroos' friendly against France next week, as well as the new A-League campaign.

Milligan limped off in a pre-season friendly against Adelaide United on Thursday, a game which Melbourne Victory lost 2-1.

The captain, who only came on at half-time and was wearing a knee brace throughout his brief stay on the pitch, has undergone scans on the troubled area but is hopeful of being cleared for international duty.

"A little bit sore this morning," he said when asked for an update on Friday.

"It's something that I've been dealing with for a couple of weeks. Just got a little bit of an awkward knock on it. Tried running it out but [we're] leaning to the side of precaution with national team duties coming up and then coming back straight into the season.

"I think it's ok. I had scans this morning, just waiting to sit down with the doctor this afternoon. It was a normal challenge, I sort of landed funny on it. I tried to play a pass about 15 minutes later and had a bit more pain than I have had in it. More pre-cautionary than anything."

The final decision on whether or not Milligan travels for the game in Paris next Friday will rest with national team medical staff.

The 28-year-old has endured an eventful pre-season, missing out on what had been billed as a dream move to the English Premier League with Crystal Palace, before taking over the Victory captaincy from Adrian Leijer.

While a transfer to Palace or elsewhere could yet be resurrected in the January window, Milligan was adamant he did not agitate for a move away from AAMI Park, despite reportedly having his heart set on appearing in England's top flight.

"That was something that had gone to the club, that wasn't something that myself or my management had sought out," he said.

"I stayed pretty well clear of it. If there was a decision to be made I would have [done] so. At the end of the day I'm contracted, the final say still came down to Melbourne Victory. I focused on what I was doing at the time, which was working hard [in] pre-season."

As for his new role wearing the armband in the 2013-14 campaign, Milligan has no intention of changing the approach which has seen become one of the club's most valued players since his arrival in January last year.

"There's been no added pressure on me," he said.

"I [will] continue to do what I did last year. The best way for myself to lead is on the field."

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