Brisbane Strikers' leading goalscorer Jheison Macuace is out for the remainder of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland 2015 season in a cruel blow to the club's Premiership hopes.
Macuace was stretchered from the field late in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to Northern Fury in Townsville, with the club confirming on Tuesday night the 22-year-old suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee on Tuesday night.
The injury deals the second-placed Strikers a huge blow in their push to secure their first ever PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland silverware in the final rounds of the regular season.
Macuace was on course for his most prolific season yet in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland, leading Strikers’ goalscoring returns with 14 league goals in 17 appearances in 2015 - only 2 goals short of his career best return of 16 goals for Redlands United in 2013.
The Colombian-born attacking utility is expected to be out for at least nine months, with the injury also putting paid to his hopes of selection in the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Under 23 All-Star side to play Brisbane Roar in September.
Macuace said he knew the injury was serious the moment he landed after challenging for a fifty-fifty ball in the final minutes of the clash at Townsville Sports Reserve.
“I felt a crack straight away and then I started screaming and asking for help because I knew something was wrong there,” Macuace said.
Strikers coach Kevin A’herne-Evans conceded that the injury was a “bitter blow” for his side as they prepare for the next round against Finals Series hopefuls Palm Beach SC at Perry Park on Sunday.
“Jheison has been an integral part of our team this year. I honestly believe his form throughout the year has been the best in the league and he would probably be very much up there in terms of the MVP in the competition.”
“More than that his training attitude is of the highest professional level. We are only allowed two foreigners at the club, so you look to them to be the highest professionals that you can get hold of and that, to me, is exactly what Jheison Macuace has been this year”.
Macuace’s injury continues Strikers run of ill luck with knee injuries in recent seasons.
Club all-time leading goalscorer Matt Thurtell and former Brisbane Roar Youth attacker Josh McVey both suffered season-ending knee injuries in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland 2013, while captain Jonti Richter was also felled by a knee injury earlier this season.
Gareth Musson, who was a prolific goalscorer for Strikers in the former Queensland State League, also suffered a similar injury in 2010.Fixture details:
Brisbane Strikers FC v Palm Beach SC
Perry Park, Brisbane
Sunday, August 9
Kick-off at 2:30PM