Newcastle Jets' FFA Cup defeat against Melbourne City on Wednesday night has been compounded with news of injuries to a couple more key players.
The already undermanned Jets saw injuries to Dimi Petratos and Ivan Vujica, while skipper Nigel Boogaard was struck down with a virus.
ROUND OF 16 WRAP: Adelaide, Wanderers survive scares
Coach Ernie Merrick was without Ben Kantarovski (calf), Johnny Koutroumbis (hamstring), Joe Champness (foot surgery) and Roy O’Donovan (suspension) for the 1-0 defeat at AAMI Park.
Petratos took a knock from Dario Vidosic when challenging for the ball in the first half, and the midfielder struggled through the rest of the game with an ankle injury.
“Dimi rolled his ankle early on when he tangled with (Dario) Vidosic,” Merrick said.
“He pushed through the rest of the game but was visibly hampered by his ankle injury.”
Petratos was due to join a Socceroo’s training camp in Turkey under new coach, Graham Arnold and will have further assessment and scans before being cleared to join the squad.
Left-back Vujica wore a ball to face at very close range in the dying stages of the match and has been diagnosed with a bruised retina and bleeding in the front of his eye.
“It was a powerful strike from close range and Ivan did tremendously well to finish the game – he’s a very tough character,” Merrick said.
“He’s been assessed by a specialist overnight and was deemed safe to fly home, but will be required to rest over the next week or so to manage the injury and avoid any long term complications.”
Nigel Boogaard has also been struck down by a virus and will be out of action for a few days.
In other news, Merrick confirmed the club is close to making two signings for the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season.
“In these situations, there’s always a lot of external pressure to make signings, but we’re focused on bringing in the best players for us," the Jets boss said.
“We’ve got a settled squad with ten of our starting Grand Final eleven returning this season, these new additions will help cover some of the players we currently have unavailable.
“Things are progressing well and I’m sure we will have more to say in the coming days.”