Rees injury blow

Gold Coast United's preparations for their New Years' Eve clash with Central Coast have been thrown into disarray, with veteran defender Kristian Rees suffering a broken wrist.

Gold Coast United's preparations for their New Years' Eve clash with Central Coast have been thrown into disarray, with veteran defender Kristian Rees suffering a broken wrist.

At the very end of United's final training session ahead of their date with the Mariners on Saturday night, Rees went in hard on speedy youngster Golgol Mebrahtu and came off second best.

But the injury isn't as bad as first thought, and he miraculously still remains a chance of taking part in Wednesday's match against Newcastle.

Rushed to see a surgeon straight after training, doctors found a break in a bone on Rees' hand - but surgery to insert a pin in his arm may not be required and it is believed the centre-half could be able to play through it.

While that news is a relief, the timing is still dreadful for United, who face a tough schedule of three games over the next nine days with an already-bulging injury list stretching their squad to the limit.

With midfield anchor Paul Beekmans suspended this week, first-choice shotstopper Glen Moss on the long-term injury list and target man Dylan Macallister also sidelined, coach Miron Bleiberg will again need to call upon some of his younger brigade against Central Coast.

Former Adelaide and Wellington stopper Rees has been in career-best form over recent weeks as part of a rock-solid defence that has kept three consecutive clean sheets, equalling a club record.

Promising young defender Zac Anderson has been rushed into United's senior squad to take his place.