Prized Melbourne City recruit Andrew Nabbout has been ruled out for six weeks after injuring his hamstring in his new team’s opening match of the A-League season.
Nabbout hobbled off in the second of half of City’s 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Tuesday night at Dolphin Stadium.
After successfully chasing down Roar midfielder Riku Danzaki, the Socceroos attacker immediately grabbed at his left hamstring.
Nabbout had scans after arriving back in Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon, with City’s worst fears confirmed on Thursday.
Unless the current A-League schedule changes again because of further COVID-19 complications, Nabbout is set to miss City’s next five matches – including their visit to Coopers Stadium on Sunday to meet Adelaide United – with the hamstring strain.
“We wish him a quick recovery and can’t wait to see him back on the training pitch,” City said in a statement on Thursday.
But it’s almost certain City will take a cautious approach with Nabbout, who suffered a similar injury last season while playing for Melbourne Victory.
The Victory play their first match of the season on Saturday night when they host the Roar at AAMI Park.
Victory coach Grant Brebner said his team “had an obligation” to return the fallen heavyweights to the top of the A-League and “challenging for trophies” after last season finishing second last on the ladder.
“I’ve made no mistake of the fact that I’ve said to the players that we need to be up there at the end of the season,” Brebner said.
“While we look at last year as motivation to do better, it’s certainly gone and we’re looking forward.
“We want to have trophies in our cabinet. It’s not acceptable for a Melbourne Victory coach to stand here and say we want to make finals. We want to be winning a championship and winning a premiership.
“Of course it’s going to be difficult but we’ve got to believe that’s the objective and we’ll be trying our all to do that.”