Melbourne Heart FC will be without the Club’s top scorer Josip Tadic for the next four to six weeks with a broken toe.
Tadic suffered the injury during the first half of last weekend’s Melbourne Derby and was replaced in the 32nd minute by Golgol Mebrathu.
The silver lining is that Tadic is likely to avoid surgery but will still require longer term rehabilitation.
“It is disappointing because Josip has been a class target man for us and obviously it’s not great to lose players of that quality during a run toward the Final Series,” Heart Head Coach John Aloisi said.
“Fortunately, the extent of the injury is not as severe as we first thought and hopefully Josip will be available for selection in our final three to four matches and beyond.”
In a double blow for Heart, 20-year-old left back Sam Mitchinson suffered a quadricep strain yesterday which will see him miss up to four weeks.
Mitchinson has played a part in six matches this season, covering for left-back Aziz Behich when he was on international duty and then after Heart’s erstwhile number 16 completed a move to Turkish Super Lig side Bursaspor last week.
Mitchinson and Tadic join Dylan Macallister (adductor), Simon Colosimo (calf) and Fred (quad strain) on the sidelines while Mate Dugandzic (foot) has been sidelined for the rest of the season.The Club has also released 31-year-old central defender Steven Gray with the player and Club parting ways by mutual consent.
With the January transfers of Behich and Michael Marrone, the release of Gray and injury to Mitchinson, Heart has signed a replacement in former Sydney FC and Perth Glory defender Jaime Coyne, 32, who has recently returned to Australia from a stint with Indonesia Super League club Sriwijaya.
A versatile and athletic defender, Coyne will link up with the team in advance of this weekend’s match against Perth Glory and will add additional experience and cover to a back four that has included youth-aged players Jeremy Walker, Sam Mitchinson and David Vrankovic in recent weeks.
“We have opened up a foreign position on the roster so we can hopefully bring in a foreigner to bolster the squad before the transfer window closes. Having added Eli (Babalj) and now Jamie (Coyne), and with a few guys to come back from injury, we are well-placed to finish the season strongly,” said John Didulica, General Manager, Football Operations.
Coyne joins Heart for the remainder of the 2012-13 Hyundai A-League season.