New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke said the club was willing to be patient with Tim Cahill after the attacking midfielder's international duties with Australia.
The Socceroos veteran played a key role in his country's successful qualification for the 2014 World Cup, leading the line for Australia in crucial matches against Japan, Jordan and Iraq and scoring one goal in the process.
Cahill, 33, has scored four goals and contributed three assists in 14 Major League Soccer matches for the Red Bulls this season, and was missed in his side's past four matches due to international duty.
In Cahill's absence, New York won just once and lost both their league games, including Monday's 3-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union.
But Red Bulls boss Petke was still happy to grant the designated player time to recover from a hectic time with the Socceroos.
"As most people probably know, Tim came off in that vital World Cup qualifier [against Iraq on June 18] somewhere around the 80th minute and that was he felt a little something in his groin," Petke told the club's website.
"It's nothing to be concerned about, but he definitely felt something. So the thing is, even if he had come back, he might not have been available for Philly."
Petke said Cahill was also given extra time in Australia after the player's mother had surgery.
But the former Everton star, along with ex-Brazil international Juninho Pernambucano and Colombian defender Jamieson Olave, is likely to be back in contention when the Red Bulls host Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
Before he left Australia on Tuesday, Cahill told The Telegraph he would consider a loan move away from the club after the 2013 season finished in December in order to stay fit for the 2014 World Cup.