Western Sydney Wanderers defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis has ruptured his ACL
Western Sydney Wanderers defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis has ruptured his ACL

Wanderers cop another injury blow

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers' defensive resources have taken another blow with the news that talented young defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis has torn his anterior cruciate ligament and will be out for up to a year.

The Olyroos centre back came off injured in Saturday's National Youth League grand final and scans on Monday revealed the extent of the damage.

Aspropotamitis will require surgery, ruling him out until next season at the earliest, leaving coach Josep Gombau with just two first-choice centre backs for the remainder of this A-League campaign.

In the wake of the departure for Malaysia of erstwhile captain Robbie Cornthwaite, Gombau has only Michael Thwaite and Brendon Hamill and it's understood the club will seek to sign a temporary replacement for Aspropotamitis as cover for Thwaite and Hamill.

Gombau has already been forced to use left back Jack Clisby as an emergency centre back when Aspropotamitis was away with the Olyroos, but the only players free to sign now that the transfer window has closed are those who were already free agents.

Asprotamitis was only playing the NYL Grand Final as Wanderers youth captain Tass Mourdoukoutas was ruled out through injury, and was himself injured in the 40th minute of Saturday's game.

The news has cast something of a shadow over Western Sydney's victory on Saturday, defeating Melbourne City 3-1 in extra time in Newcastle.

It also continues a difficult period for Gombau, under pressure after chequered results that have left his side in sixth.

Though the Wanderers secured a 2-1 win over the Mariners on Sunday, Gombau had an open argument with striker Oriol Riera over the marquee man's tactical positioning, and Gombau had to be talked out of substituting him in the first quarter hour.

Riera eventually scored what proved to be the winner.

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