DIMI Petratos’ hopes of joining the Socceroos at their first training camp under Graham Arnold have been clouded by an ankle injury the Newcastle playmaker sustained in Wednesday’s 1-0 FFA Cup loss to Melbourne City.
Petratos suffered a first-half knock from City’s Dario Vidosic but bravely soldiered on, only to pull up sore on Thursday morning.
The timing was unfortunate because Arnold, who has replaced Bert van Marwijk as Australian coach, named the dynamic midfielder in his 31-man squad for an eight-day training camp in Antalya, Turkey.
Josh Risdon was the only other A-League-based player named in Arnold’s squad, who will not play a match until international friendlies against South Korea in Brisbane on November 17, and Lebanon in Sydney three days later.
Petratos, who was a member of the Socceroos’ squad during the recent World Cup in Russia but did not play a game, was awaiting the results of scans to determine if he would be able to take his place at the eight-day camp. If available, he is expected to fly out on Sunday.
Jets coach Ernie Merrick did not want to speculate on the severity of the injury until Newcastle’s medical staff had enough information to provide an accurate prognosis.
“We don’t know the details of it yet,” Merrick said.
“It wasn’t so bad that he couldn’t get through the game, but he’s struggling today.”
Newcastle’s other main casualty from the clash with City was Olyroos defender Ivan Vujica, who was diagnosed with a bruised retina and bleeding in the front of his eye after copping a powerfully struck shot in the face.
Merrick said skipper Nigel Boogaard had been “extremely unwell” after the game, having played despite a pre-match virus.
The coach felt Newcastle were “very competitive” against City, given the absence of first-team regulars Roy O’Donovan (suspended), Ben Kantarovski (calf), Johnny Koutroumbis (hamstring) and Joey Champness (foot).
“We lost by a goal, away from home against a good team,” he said.
“I thought it was a good performance all-round. Our makeshift strikers did a serviceable job but not a good enough job, because you need to score goals to win games. But we’re not making any excuses. Melbourne City were the better team on the day and we’ll keep working hard.”
With O’Donovan suspended for the first eight games of the season and Champness facing four months out after surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot, the loss in Melbourne highlighted the need for reinforcements up front.
The Jets are close to two signings – a foreign player and an Australian – but Merrick said he was reluctant to comment on any new recruit “until the ink has dried on his contract and I see him here training with us”.