Melbourne City FC have lost star winger Damien Duff for the rest of the season, adding to a worrying list of players sidelined by injury.
Duff, who has been in impressive form for City, suffered a freak double injury in a tackle by Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna on Saturday.
The Irish international ruptured a tendon in his calf and sustained damage to his ankle ligaments, in what is expected to bring a premature end to his A-League career.
Former Newcastle Jets skipper, Kew Jaliens, has been co-opted as an injury replacement for at least six weeks.
Duff will undergo additional scans to confirm the extent of the damage, but the early prognosis is that the former English Premier League star may require surgery, which could result in a lengthy lay-off.
The 35-year-old scored one goal and five assists and was a consistent performer for City who sit just outside the A-League playoffs.
Coach John van’t Schip said: "We are of course disappointed to learn the seriousness of Damien’s injuries and I know his absence will be a big loss to the team.
“Damien has brought a lot to the Club this season both on and off the pitch and we are going to need other members of the squad to step up while Damien is out of action.”
Adding to City’s injury woes is central defender Wielaert who underwent surgery last week on his injured ankle.
Wielaert suffered an ankle knock in Abu Dhabi against FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and has missed all three of Melbourne City FC’s matches since the league’s re-start after the Asian Cup break.
Teammate Ben Garuccio, who sustained an ankle injury against Western Sydney Wanderers on February 1, is also expected to be absent for at least 10 weeks.
James Brown is recuperating from a knee operation, with Jonatan Germano and Stephan Mauk are also on the treatment table. Mate Dugandzic is expected to return to the pitch soon.
Former Dutch international Jaliens, 36, departed the Jets on Monday and will link up with his new teammates on Wednesday.
"We have decided to bring in Kew as a replacement as he will add some depth at a time where we are missing a number of players due to injury,” van’t Schip said.
Former Newcastle Jets skipper, Kew Jaliens, has been signed as an injury replacement for at least six weeks.
City play league leaders Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Sunday.comments