Jets shot down with injuries
The Newcastle Jets have slipped further into injury crisis as inspirational skipper Kasey Wehrman, key midfielder Ruben Zadkovich and veteran forward Sasho Petrovski joining a mounting list of players in the medical ward.
The Newcastle Jets have slipped further into injury crisis as inspirational skipper Kasey Wehrman, key midfielder Ruben Zadkovich and veteran forward Sasho Petrovski join a mounting list of players in the medical ward.
The Jets lost Wehrman in just the sixth minute of the 2-0 loss to the Central Coast Mariners in Newcastle on Sunday afternoon and early reports indicate he has suffered medial ligament damage which will sideline him for the rest of the season.
"It was significant (to lose) our most inspirational player and one of our best players and the fact that we lost him early," Culina said of the loss to the Mariners.
"If we go by other ankle injuries (Wehrman will be out) for probably up to four weeks which will mean the end of the season."
At Monday morning's recovery session Culina was dealt another blow when Zadkovich sucuumb to a back injury which will more than likely sideline him for this Saturday night's crucial clash against the Gold Coast, while striker Petrvski will also be touch and go to play after suffering a hamstring strain in Sunday's game.
The trio make it an even dozen Jets out injured with marquee player Michael Bridges (knee), Ben Kantarovski (knee), Sean Rooney (knee), Brodie Mooy (shin), Jeremy Brockie (ankle), Ali Abbas (groin), Kaz Patafta (groin), Adam D-Apuzzo (ankle) and Neil Young (illness) also injured.
Culina said in all his years of coaching he has never had such an injury toll.
'You always have injuries but certainly not to this extent," he said.
"I don't what we have done to have this many injuries to have as many as 10 players out over a long period of time is just incredible and to key payers - we have lost key players."
"Other clubs have injuries but not to as many key players as we have lost."
The Newcastle coach admitted that this year's tilt at the title may have stalled as the cub descends into injury crisis, but said they would not be rushing out to sign extra players on injury contracts.
"It is not that easy to just pick up somebody off the street," he said. "We are still a long way off making the top six - it is going to be hard - extremely difficult."
"We were in similar position last year and we ended up finishing the season with youth players and I thought we did really well to make the six and go on and get to the second round."
"You look around the other teams, everyone is strengthening their team and has competition for places. We haven't got that at the moment, so we just have to make sure we can get the best we can out of what we have got."
Culina was still able to find some humour despite the gloom, joking that he is hesitant to name the team's next skipper as the role has seen Bridges, Ljubo Milicevic and Wehrman all sidelined with season-ending injuries.
"I asked after the game who wanted the captain's armband next week and no one wanted it because ever time we get a captain they get out injured for the rest of the year," Culina said.
"Nikolai (Topor-Stanley) is next in line but he is so important for us I am not going to offer him the captaincy, I will give it to someone I don't want around."