Boogaard blow for Reds

Adelaide United defender Nigel Boogaard is expected to be sidelined for up to three months after suffering a serious ankle injury during training on Tuesday.

Adelaide United defender Nigel Boogaard is expected to be sidelined for up to three months after suffering a serious ankle injury during training on Tuesday.

Boogaard, appeared to have cemented a spot in the heart of United's defence alongside Ian Fyfe, in the absence of Robert Cornthwaite, who is also sidelined after groin surgery in the off-season, after watching much of United's ACL campaign from the bench.

The former Central Coast player, who turns 24 on Saturday, was looking forward to lining up against his old side on Sunday but will now be out of action until at least the end of November.

Reds coach Rini Coolen admitted the situation is less than ideal with the Reds defence decimated by injury.

"We have to find a solution for that," Coolen said.

"Cornthwaite is still a couple of weeks away from being able to play, but we have some players who can play there and we have to find out in the next couple of training sessions what solutions we have."

Coolen is already without captain Travis Dodd who isn't expected to return for two months after a serious groin injury and surgery following the Reds' ACL campaign, while Fabian Barbiero's ankle injury has him sidelined for a month and Lloyd Owusu is recovering from knee surgery.

In addition to the injured trio, add Cornthwaite and now Boogaard and the Dutchman's hope of United playing an attractive and attacking, possession-orientated brand of football may have to wait until the depleted Reds' line-up returns to near full strength.

"It is not positive for us because three weeks ago we started trying to play the way we prefer to, and he (Boogaard) is one of the important players in our back four," he said on Thursday.

"They're things that can happen at training, it was an unlucky moment but that's football sometimes and unfortunately it is a problem we have to deal with. It's disappointing but we have to accept it."