Injury crisis: Jets wounded ahead of City clash
Surprise-packets Newcastle Jets will face a test of their depth this weekend with a raft of injuries hitting Ernie Merrick's squad.
Currently, a total of seven squad members are unavailable for Saturday's clash with Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Marquee midfielder Ronny Vargas and defender Jake Adelson are long-term casualties, while goalkeeper Jack Duncan (foot) is set to miss the next six weeks.
Leading-scorer Roy O'Donovan (groin) is set to return in a fortnight, as is in-form fullback Daniel Georgievski (knee).
Wayne Brown has a lingering calf issue and will miss this weekend's match while Jason Hoffman is in doubt after suffering a minor groin issue against Victory.
Jets boss, Ernie Merrick said his current casualty ward was the result of the changing fortunes that football can ultimately bring.
“These are all injuries caused by trauma as opposed to being an issue of overuse,” said Merrick.
“Over the course of season injuries are bound to happen, we just need to ensure we have the depth to cover them in key positions.
“Justin Dougherty (Physio) and Chris Smith (Strength and Conditioning Coach) have done an exceptional job so far this season to have the boys in peak condition – but both certainly have their hands full now.
“At this stage, of the players that are injured, Jason Hoffman is the only one pushing for selection this weekend.
“Periods like this during the season provide a great opportunity for our younger players to step into the first team and make an impact.
“Everyone across the squad is aware of the way we want to play, and I’m confident that whoever we put on the park can do the job for us against City.”