Sydney FC have confirmed young forward Trent Buhagiar has suffered a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament.
Buhagiar injured his right knee during a training match on Sunday and will now be out of action for a number of months.
The 20-year-old former Mariner has enjoyed a sensational start to life at the Harbour City after joining Steve Corica's side from Central Coast in May.
(Lead image courtesy of Sydney FC)
"It's a blow for me being this close to starting the season but I’m determined to stay positive and do all of the right things to make a full recovery,” Buhagiar told Sydney FC's official website.
"I’ve had a lot of support from the boys and the staff, a few of whom have been through similar injuries and their help and positive words will be of enormous encouragement for me over the next few months.
“It’s a long road but I am looking forward to the journey and being back playing as soon as possible.”
Steve Corica lamented Buhagiar's injury as a cruel blow for club on the eve of the new Hyundai A-League campaign, but said the Sky Blues are well-stocked to cover for the loss.
"Trent is a fantastic young player and has been great for us since coming in, so to lose him is tough for both him and the club,” he said.
“He is a good person, with excellent character and will return an even better player having gone through this experience.
“We are fortunate that we have some great depth in our squad with Alex Brosque, Adam Le Fondre, Milos Ninkovic, Siem de Jong, Danny de Silva and Charles Lokoli N’goy all able to fill the void.
“However, we still have room to bring in another player and the fact we still have an international spot available is a bonus for us.”