Newcastle Jets captain Emily van Egmond has been ruled out of the remainder of the Westfield W-League season with an ankle injury.
Van Egmond - who is also vice-captain of the Westfield Matildas - sustained the injury in a training session, suffering a badly sprained ankle in addition to suspected ligament damage.
A Jets statement said that “the club has already been in contact with the Matildas medical team and will work closely with them to ensure van Egmond is ready and available for the national team ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.”
Jets W-League coach Craig Deans said van Egmond's absence would be felt.
“It’s hard to lose any player, even more so when it’s someone of Emily’s quality,” he said.
“She loves leading this team and representing her town and this club – she’ll be devastated to miss the rest of the season.”
The Jets sit eighth on the Westfield W-League table and have four matches remaining in the regular season.
Deans said Van Egmond’s priority would now turn to making sure she is fit to play her role in the Westfield Matildas set-up in 2019.
“Obviously this is a massive year for the Matildas, so now our focus is helping Em get back to full fitness as quickly as possible for the Cup of Nations and then the World Cup,” he added.
“We’ve already begun that work with the Matildas medical team and Bronwyn [W-League Physiotherapist, Bronwyn Vaughn] does a fantastic job – Em is in good hands.
“It’s just been one of those seasons for us, we can’t take a trick when it comes to injuries, but now it gives some of the younger girls a great opportunity to gain some experience in the [Westfield] W-League.”
Van Egmond joins the likes of Katie Stengel (foot), Taylor Smith (knee) and Corinne Vine (calf) on the Jets’ extensive injury list.