Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard has been cleared of a serious knee injury but is “50-50” to play in Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash with Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The centre-back injured his knee late in the 1-0 win over Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday but finished the game.
The 31-year-old, who made crucial interceptions in the round 21 victory, had MRI scans on the knee on Monday and they revealed only minor muscular damage.
However, Jets coach Ernie Merrick was unsure if Boogaard would be fit for the clash with the Sky Blues.
“The scan has shown that there is no major damage to the knee joint, as in the ligaments or meniscus,” Merrick said.
“It looks like an injury to the adductor muscle attachment on the side of the knee.
“We have to see how he responds to treatment over the next few days, but he is 50-50 for the game against Sydney on Saturday.”
Boogaard, who is in talks about a contract extension past this season, missed the most recent game with Sydney, a 2-2 draw in round 14, because of injury.
Ivan Vujica, Ben Kantarovski, Pato Rodriguez, Ronny Vargas, Roy O’Donovan and Riley McGree were also unavailable for the stalemate.
The potential loss of Boogaard this weekend comes at the same time as Kantarovski’s likely return to the squad from a hamstring injury.
Marquee imports Vargas (ankle) and Rodriguez (calf) are back running at training in an encouraging sign for the finals-bound Jets, who have a week off after the Sydney clash. Vargas and Rodriguez could return for the following match, away against Wellington on March 17.