The A-League finals aspirations and Asian Champions League hopes of the Newcastle Jets have suffered a damaging blow with Jason Hoffman ruled out for the rest of the season.
Hoffman is set to undergo surgery on his injured ankle on Monday and is expected to be sidelined for five months.
The versatile 30-year-old let his teammates know after training at Ray Watt Oval on Thursday.
Hoffman, who marked his 200th A-League game earlier this month, was already suspended for Friday night's crucial clash against his former club Melbourne City having collected a fifth yellow card this season.
But his injury also had him in doubt for the Jets' trip to Japan to meet ACL title holders Kashima Antlers this Tuesday.
Newcastle are one win away from qualifying for the ACL group stage after defeating Indonesian side Persija Jakarta 3-1 in a play-off at McDonald Jones Stadium on Tuesday.
Hoffman missed the midweek encounter and saw an ankle specialist in Sydney on Wednesday. Scans revealed he dislocated a tendon in his ankle.
“He changed direction and his studs got caught in the grass,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick told the Newcastle Herald on Monday.
“We will leave it to the last minute, but it’s not looking good."