Luckless Socceroo Massimo Luongo looks like being sidelined until the New Year after suffering a hamstring injury which may require surgery.
The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder’s man of the match first appearance of the season in the 2-0 win at Rotherham over the weekend turned sour in the final seconds when disaster struck.
The injury, which saw Luongo rip the hamstring from the bone, also rules him out of Australia’s six remaining World Cup qualifiers this year.
It’s the latest in a series of setbacks for the 28-year-old, who made just 12 league appearances last season after being plagued by knee problems.
To make matters worse, a proposed move back to the Championship during this transfer window has now been scuppered, while an offer from Qatar was also on the table.
Off contract at season’s end, Luongo made 27 appearances in his debut year in Yorkshire.
But he has been unable to gather any momentum since, with question marks raised over whether he was rushed back prematurely last season during the brief reign of Tony Pulis.
He was ultimately ruled out of June’s World Cup hub in Kuwait, but was relishing a fresh start this season.
Luongo told the Sheffield Star earlier this month: “I’ve had a year out with injury, and my focus is just playing.
“If I can stay fit, and keep playing, then I can show everybody here – and in the leagues – that I’m the same Massimo that I was before the injury.”
New boss Darren Moore left him out of the Owls’ opening two league games, with Luongo reappearing at Rotherham in spectacular touch.
He was an almost ever-present in four previous Championship seasons at QPR, racking up 145 league appearances.