Jason Culina is already facing up to six weeks on the sidelines but Newcastle Jets are hoping it is no longer.
The former PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente midfielder joined the Jets from A-League rivals Gold Coast United in the off-season but his new club may be without him for much longer than they initially thought as he has yet to fully recover from a knee injury sustained on Australian duty in January.
"We’re going to see how these next four to six weeks go and reassess it," Jets CEO Robbie Middleby told the Newcastle Herald.
"It still could be bad news if something’s got to happen after that, but at the moment we want to give him every opportunity to not prematurely end his season.
"We’re going to give him every opportunity to make sure we’ve ticked all boxes and made sure that we’ve done everything possible, from our point of view as a club then the next step is whatever it’s going to be after that."
Middleby added: “Jason will not be doing any weight-bearing exercises for several weeks and has been advised to avoid any heavy impact on the knee.
"We feel for our fans but we’re feeling for Jason because he is absolutely devastated at the moment.
"He knows what we’re building here, and he knows how competitive the team has been in pre-season, and he’s been desperate to be a part of that.
"I found it difficult to talk to him the other day because he’s been that shattered with what’s gone on, and how hard he and our medical staff have worked to get him to the point he was at.
"He’s been at PSV Eindhoven and in national teams, and he realises what we’ve got going here and what we’re doing for him is absolutely professional and exceptional."