Redback havoc for Macallister

Gold Coast United's preparations for Friday night's M1 derby have been thrown into disarray by the most unlikely of sources - a redback spider bite to in-form striker Dylan Macallister.

Gold Coast United's preparations for Friday night's M1 derby have been thrown into disarray by the most unlikely of sources - a redback spider bite to in-form striker Dylan Macallister.

The former Central Coast and Wellington target man was bitten on his preferred right foot by the deadly creature whilst enjoying an afternoon in the park with his children on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old began feeling itching then increasing pain in his foot, which quickly developed into anguish before he was rushed to hospital and pumped with anti-venom and painkillers.

Describing the pain as 'excruciating', Macallister's response to treatment was monitored before he was released from hospital in the evening with doctors satisfied he had suffered no complications.

Despite such a dramatic turn of events, Macallister is still hopeful of being passed fit to face the Roar at Suncorp Stadium - but admits he is a 50-50 chance at best.

"I spent about six hours in hospital in absolute agony. It was the most acute pain I've ever felt in my life," he said.

"Once the anti-venom and pain killers were given to me it calmed down dramatically, but it's still quite sore today and I'd have to say I'm touch and go to play on Friday."

Macallister has been in fine touch leading the line for United in their opening two rounds, so any worries with regard to his availability come at the worst possible time with a date against a rampaging Brisbane outfit less than 24 hours away.

Captain Michael Thwaite admitted Macallister would be a massive loss - particularly given how well he has combined with young wingers James Brown and Ben Halloran up front.

"If he wasn't to play we'd definitely miss him," he said.

"For a big man he works very hard off the ball, he's always chasing back, committing professional fouls and he works very hard for the team."

"He works well with the young wingers we have as well. That's something Miron's built through the core of the club, trying to get the youth and fringe players working well with him."

But there are two players ready to take the towering marksman's place in the form of Dutch recruit Maceo Rigters and crafty striker Joel Porter.

After two frustrating weeks on the sidelines, Rigters' visa clearance has finally come through, meaning he will feature in some form against the Roar, while Porter has come off the bench in both of United's games so far.

"We've got a lot of players to slip in if he has problems and I'm sure he'll be smart about it," Thwaite said.

Having grown up in regional Queensland, though, that was the extent of Thwaite's sympathy for his teammate's run-in with a redback.

"I grew up in Cairns and this sort of thing is pretty normal there. I've been bitten by a thousand spiders and snakes and it's just normal in Queensland."

"I haven't seen him start to climb up walls yet but when he does I'll be a bit worried - especially for the Roar, if he can do that," he laughed.