Gold Coast injury concerns

Gold Coast will be short on players for its next match with both captain Jason Culina and defender Adama Traore suffering injuries in the 5-1 romp over rivals Brisbane on Boxing Day.

Gold Coast will be short on players for its next match with both captain Jason Culina and defender Adama Traore suffering injuries in the 5-1 romp over rivals Brisbane on Boxing Day.

Culina suffered a badly twisted knee and has already been ruled out of the Qantas Socceross' Asian Cup qualifier against Kuwait on January 6, while Traore is facing an extended period on the sidelines after going down with a nasty ankle injury.

Further tests this week will reveal the extent of the Culina's injury, but he already knew he was unlikely to feature for Australia on January 6.

"I didn't cop a knock, but twisted (the knee) towards the end there, we'll have to get it looked at by the doctor and the physio, but it doesn't feel too good at the moment," he said.

"For the last two minutes I stuck to the side lines and tried not to run too much, because we couldn't make any more subs."

"I don't know about the Asian Cup match, I'm struggling to walk, I'm just limping around so I'll have to talk to the doctors and physio and see what they come up with, because it doesn't feel too good."

The news went from bad to worse for United as coach Miron Bleiberg revealed left-back Traore had been taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle.

After recovering from a serious knee injury only two weeks ago, Traore looks set to miss up to eight weeks of football after falling awkwardly attempting a cross late in the first-half.

"It looks like Adama has broken his ankle, so it will be eight weeks. No-one touched him he rolled his ankle, but according to the doctor it is a broken bone because he couldn't move the ankle after he did it, so the ambulance took him (to hospital) after the game." Bleiberg said.

A further blow was dealt to United's defensive stocks with the two-week suspension of defensive hustler Steve Pantelidis for an accumulation of yellow cards.

With both Brisbane and Gold Coast leaving nothing-to-chance in their tackles, Pantelidis received his 11th yellow of the season after a rash tackle on Roar midfielder Matt Mckay in the 25th minute.

A hat-trick from the league's leading goal scorer Shane Smeltz and a brace from defensive commander Kristian Rees gave Gold Coast its third successive win over capital city rivals Brisbane.

Smeltz is in red-hot form for United and has now bagged an impressive 18 goals this season, the most any player in the Hyundai A-league has scored in a single season.

United is now just two points shy of Sydney who sit second on 35 points and a continued run of form will set Gold Coast's title ambitions firmly back on-track.