ALREADY missing suspended striker Roy O’Donovan, the Jets will be without exciting winger Joey Champness for the start of the A-League season.
Champness fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot at training on Tuesday and will be sidelined for up to 10 weeks.
The 21-year-old will consult an orthopaedic specialist in Sydney later this week, but coach Ernie Merrick does not expect him to be available until the round-two clash against Adelaide at Cooper’s Stadium.
“He got bumped by someone at training,” Merrick said. “It was completely innocuous and he tripped over himself and landed awkwardly with his foot turned inside underneath him.
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He was taken away for scans which confirmed a fracture. It’s called a Jones fracture and has poor blood supply.
They can be tricky. Sometimes they require surgery and sometimes they are best left. We will take him to a specialist in Sydney for further advice. He will be out for eight-to-ten weeks will we make him available for about round two, which is not too bad.”
Champness was arguably the find of last season. He scored five goals in 27 appearances and was to be rewarded with a call up into the Olyroos for a camp next week.
“He won’t be attending which is a big disappointment for everyone,” Merrick said.
Kiwi recruit Matt Ridenton appears the front runner to start on the left in the FFA Cup clash against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on August 29.
“We don’t have a lot of experience there at the moment,” Merrick said. “It has given others a chance to play in that role. Kosta Petratos has done quite well. Gus Thurgate has also really been showing. Matt Ridenton has played a similar role to Riley McGree [last season], starting on the wing and coming inside. There are other boys putting their hand up bit we will continue to keep an eye out for two attacking players and another goal keeper.”