Jets sweat on Topor-Stanley

Newcastle Jets are anxiously monitoring the status of injured defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley ahead of their first home clash this Hyundai A-League season against the Melbourne Heart on Friday night.

Newcastle Jets are anxiously monitoring the status of injured defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley ahead of their first home clash this Hyundai A-League season against the Melbourne Heart on Friday night.

Topor-Stanley was forced from the field in the first half of last week's season-opening clash against Adelaide United with a knee injury.

While scans have cleared the big defender of any serious damage, he is racing the clock to be fully fit for Friday night's match against the Heart.

"Nikolai has been off for most of the week," Jets coach Branko Culina revealed on Thursday. "He came back today and did a little bit, so we will have to see how he pulls up tomorrow."

"It (the scan) didn't show any major damage so that was a positive. And it was important that he had that test done to make sure he was right mentally about it."

With giant Dutchman Gerald Sibon, who stands just under two metres tall, leading the Heart attack this weekend in Newcastle, it is imperative the Jets have some tall timber of their own in defence.

"It is always important to have your key players and Nikolai is one of those players," said Culina. "He has height and he is physically very intimidating as well."

"Sibon, being a very tall player, is good in the air but he is also very comfortable on the ball. I know him from his time at PSV and Heerenveen in Holland and he is a very handy acquisition for the Melbourne Heart."

"Last week in the loss to the Central Coast I thought he was one of the better players. So to have Nikolai available for selection will be a big plus for us."

Meanwhile, the Jets will go into the match without dynamic young striker Sean Rooney, who faces up to two months on the sideline after injuring his calf at training this week.

"The medical staff tells us it (Rooney's injury) could be anywhere up to four to six weeks," said Culina.

"But we will give him a bit more time this time around because (through injury) it has always been difficult to get Sean on the park for a period of time. So we have to give him every opportunity to get as strong as he possibly can."

With Rooney out and the Jets' Chinese import Zhang Shuo still awaiting visa approval, Culina is looking to Labinot Haliti or Sasho Petrovski to lead the attack with Michael Bridges.

"I think it is an opportunity for us to look at other options and what is the best balance for the whole of the team for this particular game," Culina said.

"That is why it is important that we have that depth and we feel comfortable with the depth we have knowing that we have quality ready when called upon."