Jets defences down

Newcastle will go into Tuesday night's clash with North Queensland minus left back Adam D'Apuzzo and central defender Ljubo Milicevic after both were sidelined with ankle injuries.

Newcastle will go into Tuesday night's clash with North Queensland minus left back Adam D'Apuzzo and central defender Ljubo Milicevic after both were sidelined with ankle injuries.

D'Apuzzo was hobbled off midway through the second half of last Saturday night's match against the Fury in Townsville and scans on Monday revealed he has a grade one ligament tear in his left ankle which will keep him sidelined for at least two weeks.

Meanwhile the Jets medical staff confirmed the worst fears for inspirational defender Milicevic, whose ankle injury suffered in the 2-1 loss to Sydney FC last week was much worse than first diagnosed.

The extensive damage to the ligament in his left ankle means the big defender would be out for at least six weeks and it was doubtful he would take to the field again this season.

Jets coach Branko Culina said it was an unfortunate blow as the team prepares to make its run for the A-League finals.

"Ljubo has formed a great partnership with all our defenders this season which has been very hard to crack for opposition teams," Culina said.

"The players will have to lift in his absence as he is a big part of our structure, a quality player and he will certainly be missed."

The reshuffled Jets back four will now see Taylor Regan partner key defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley in the central defensive role.

Tarek Elrich will switch from right back to left back to cover the loss of D'Apuzzo with Italian import Marcello Fiorentini likely to come into the starting side at right back.