Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy may miss the entire Hyundai A-League campaign after sustaining an injury to his Achilles tendon at training on Wednesday.
The club confirmed that the 29-year-old has suffered a ruptured achilles, with recovery expected to take up to 12 months.
It is a cruel blow for the shot-stopper on the eve of the A-League season, with the local custodian locked in a tight-battle for the club's number 1 spot with former Glory keeper Jack Duncan.
Speaking at the Jets’ corporate launch on Thursday, new boss Mark Jones said Kennedy’s absence would be a big blow for the club.
“At this point he’s ruptured his Achilles, which is a season-long injury,’’ Jones told the Newcastle Herald.
“I haven’t spoken to BK this morning but he’d be devastated.
“He was obviously looking forward to competing with Jack [Duncan] for the No.1 keeper spot and obviously it’s unfortunate for anyone.’’
Youth team keeper Pierce Clark will sit on the bench for Sunday’s season opener against Adelaide United but is unlikely to be a permanent back-up for Jack Duncan.
“We’ll need to have a look around and see if we can come up with another keeper,’’ Jones said.
“Obviously Pierce is here but he’s a young boy and it’s a bit of a step up at this point.’’