Sydney FC striker Corey Gameiro has been left shattered by a potential season-ending knee injury suffered on international duty with the Olyroos on Tuesday night.
Gameiro ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the first half of the Olyroos’ 1-0 win over South Korea in their four-nation tournament in China.
The 21-year-old, the Sky Blues’ top-scorer this season, went for scans on Thursday morning where it’s expected to confirm the worst, with surgery and a long road of rehab ahead.
“The kid is absolutely devastated,” Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold said on Thursday.
“I’m confident Corey will come back even stronger than before, he’s got the mental strength to do that, but it’s could be a long layoff and I just wish him a speedy recovery.
“The medical staff at the FFA rang me straight after the game and they’re 80 percent certain [it’s the ACL].”
The injury is a cruel blow for the pacy attacker, who has been in career-best from with the Sky Blues this season.
He found the back of the net in the Olyroos stunning 2-2 draw with Brazil last Friday and has been a revelation in the Hyundai A-League.
Gameiro scored 12 goals in the pre-season and carried that into the competition proper, with two goals in the first two matches.
It’s that sort of form which earned Gameiro a call-up to the Olyroos and even being mentioned in some quarters as a bolter for Ange Postecoglou’s Asian Cup squad.
“I don’t know how it happened, I just got the call, but we’ve got the depth and we’ve got the cover so we’ll get on with it but it’s sad for the kid,” Arnold said.
“It’s a big loss because the kid was doing so well.
“He was scoring goals and working hard and he was having a very good season after a bad season last year so it’s devastating.”
It’s not the first time Gameiro has battled a knee injury, dislocating his knee prior to last season during a promotional shoot at Fox Sports.
The shattering news is a blow to the unbeaten Sky Blues, who travel to AAMI Park on Saturday night to face Melbourne City.
Marquee man Marc Janko and midfielder Terry Antonis – fresh from signing a new two-year deal – are likely to return to the starting line-up.