Emile Heskey ruled out for six weeks

EMILE Heskey is out for six weeks after scans this morning revealed a grade two medial ligament strain in his left knee.

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It confirms the worst fears of the club after his injury in Tuesday night’s friendly with Melbourne Victory where the England World Cup player had to be helped off the ground.

Heskey flew back to the Hunter with the rest of the squad yesterday and undertook scans this morning in Newcastle.

The Jets won the warm-up match against Victory 1-0 courtesy of a second-half penalty from James Virgili, but Van Egmond was not pleased with his growing injury list.
 
"That's not what you want to get out of these games, these games are about getting match fitness and starting to work on the way in which you play," he said.
 
"It's not about flying in and getting people injured."
 
In what was a fiery match for a pre-season encounter, several full-blooded challenges were made, with a tackle from Connor Chapman on Mitch Nichols drawing an angry reaction from Victory staff.
 
Van Egmond believes such incidents are down to the excitement the players feel when stepping onto the field against top-level opponents following a lengthy break.
 
"The boys don't play for quite some while and the pre-season is so long so they really look forward to obviously getting back on the park and playing A-League opposition," said Van Egmond.
 
However, he did concede that some of this enthusiasm may be down to the role coaches play in the build-up to the new campaign.
 
"From us coaches we also want that to be very, very intensive in regards to what they are doing and making sure they're ready for the first game so sometimes we might ask for a little bit too much."
 
Aside from the intensity of the match, which Van Egmond believes Victory dominated with the ball, the coach was pleased with his side's efforts when not in possession.
 
"We controlled the game without the ball, from the point of view that we didn't look to press high, we kept compact," he said.
 
"Once we made a few adjustments for the second half in regards to the pressing, we were reasonably quite comfortable in that second half."
 
Van Egmond is expecting a number of players to return to full fitness before the start of the A-League season, but has praised the players who are performing well in pre-season.
 
"A couple of boys probably haven't been in the minds of everyone in regards to starting and doing well," said the coach.
 
"People like Mitchell Oxborrow for example, you know there's a few boys who are really starting to stand up."

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