Adama Traore, Gold Coast United's Ivorian defender, faces up to eight weeks on the sidelines after scan results revealed damage to the medial ligament in his knee. 19-year-old Traore, who has impressed with his performances so far this season, picked up the injury after just half an hour of Sunday's 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
United Physio, David Battersby, explained the comeback route for Traore will be a methodical process, with at least a month to pass before the speedy defender can begin running.
"It's a grade two injury, so Adama will wear a brace for a couple of weeks then gradually start some movement," Battersby said.
"Typically, after an injury like this, it's at least four weeks before the player can resume running, with contact training coming some time after that."
Traore's coach, Miron Bleiberg, lamented the loss of one of his most consistent players, who he says will be sorely missed in the starting eleven.
"Adama is important to the way we want to play and now that we feel more confident to work our way back to our early season form, it's a shame that we won't have him with us for a while," Bleiberg said.
"We will miss him as he has been an outstanding performer for us and has played in every game since round two. A replacement for a player like him is not easy to find and we will consider our options in the coming days."
Bleiberg has one tailor-made option for the left-back role in Brazilian wing-back/midfielder Anderson, who is currently occupying a place on the United roster as an injury replacement player for his compatriot, Jefferson.
"In the short-term, we are fortunate to have a player like Anderson with us, who may be able to fill the void left by Adama's absence," the United Head Coach said.