Adelaide have suffered a huge blow on the eve of their clash against Western Sydney with Dario Vidosic ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Vidosic, who has a history of hamstring niggles, limped from the training ground on Thursday.
It marks the second time in as many months the 25-year-old has been cut down by the injury after aggravating the troublesome area in a pre-season fixture.
The silky attacker has been in fine form since recovering from the pre-season hiccup, scoring the opener and assisting Iain Ramsay’s sealer in the 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets on Sunday.
Reds coach John Kosmina confirmed that Vidosic would miss Friday’s A-League match at Hindmarsh Stadium and would require an MRI scan.
“Dario couldn’t finish training, so he’s not playing. His hamstring tightened up again – the one he’s had issues with in the past,” Kosmina said.
“Pete Chitti (Adelaide United physiotherapist) had a look at him and thinks he will probably need an MRI.
“It’s a big blow because he played really well last week, and we weren’t going to make any changes in terms of the squad (to face Western Sydney).
“We will just make sure he is fit before using him again … get it cleared up and look at why it’s reoccurring.”
Kosmina brushed aside suggestions that Vidosic was rushed back.
The former Sydney FC coach said Adelaide’s recent travels would have contributed to the injury.
“If there was a problem it would have shown up before now but it’s obviously only shown up in the last couple of days,” Kosmina said.
“He came off in the first leg (of the AFC Champions League quarter-final against Bunyodkor) because we lost Nigel Boogaard (to a red card) and wasn’t rushed back too quick for that.
“He then had two weeks of recuperation before playing 120 minutes in Bunyodkor and 90 minutes against Newcastle last week.
“One of the things we were always wary of was getting them up for this week because it would be difficult due to the travel and fatigue and most of the players having slept a hell of a lot more than they’d usually do.
“If you have got any niggles and you’re not training they tend to show up later rather than sooner, and unfortunately it’s too late for Dario.”
Striker Sergio van Dijk will be another absentee for the Reds when they meet the Wanderers after only returning to training on Thursday.
The target-man picked up an injury in the 3-2 ACL second-leg loss to Bunyodkor last Wednesday and missed his side’s opening-round victory over the Jets.