CENTRAL Coast Mariners goalkeeper Jess Vanstrattan has suffered a suspected ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament in his left knee and is likely to be out for the rest of the season, the club revealed today.
Vanstrattan injured his left leg in freakish circumstances, as he routinely kicked during a drill at Mariners training this morning, and the former Juventus and Gold Coast United goalkeeper is awaiting the results of further tests before plotting his recovery with club medical staff.
If it does prove to be his ACL, Vanstrattan faces at least five months on the sidelines, ending his season.
“It’s a huge blow for Jess and the club,” said Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold. “He has fitted in really well with the group since he arrived and was in great form.
"But when one door closes another one opens, and I have every confidence in Mathew Ryan, who will come in to the squad tomorrow.”
Ryan, an 18-year-old highly rated by Mariners goalkeeping coach John Crawley, has been in top form for his NSW Premier League club Blacktown City after a debut season in the National Youth League.
“He’s a great young kid, has done really well in training and in the trial matches that he has featured in and I’m sure he’ll do well,” Arnold said.
“He’ll do a great job tomorrow and looking further down the track we’ll be looking to get someone in as an injury replacement to keep things competitive, but obviously first and foremost we wish Jess a speedy recovery, and hopefully he’s back on the field as soon as possible.”
Wellington Phoenix have ruled out any chance of a return to the Mariners for former 'keeper Danny Vukovic.
He was left clubless after a transfer to Turkey was aborted when his new club Konyaspor axed him unexpectedly.
He has since signed a contract with Pheonix until the end of the season, and the club confirmed they had filed all paperwork on the deal, ruling out any chance of a return to Bluetongue this year.