Adelaide United has condemned as "shocking" a tackle from Western Sydney's Jack Clisby that has left import forward Sergio Cirio sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury.
The A-League club said Cirio was "shockingly fouled" by Clisby in the opening 53 seconds of the Wanderers' come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Coopers Stadium on Friday.
Spaniard Cirio tried to play on but was substituted after just 11 minutes, with scans later revealing an injury to the medial ligament in his right knee.
Clisby escaped with only a yellow card, one of two possible red-card challenges overlooked by referee Shaun Evans on the night - along with a second-half incident involving matchwinner Brendon Santalab on midfielder James Holland, who said on Monday he felt "lucky" his leg wasn't broken.
It is a bitter blow for Adelaide to lose Cirio, a consistent contributor since his arrival in the country and a key part of last season's grand final-winning team.
The 31-year-old only just returned from a fractured fibula he suffered during the pre-season, with concerns his latest setback could put him out for at least two months of action.