Injured Jet Mullen out for long spell
Photo Source: AAP
Key Newcastle defender Daniel Mullen looks set to spend a chunk of the A-League season on the sidelines after injuring ligaments in his knee.
Mullen was subbed off midway through the second half of Sunday's 1-1 opening-round draw with Adelaide, immediately after making a classy clearance to stop Henrique closing in on a winner.
The 26-year-old will have scans on Monday to determine the extent of the injury, which has the potential to sideline him for up to 12 weeks.
Fellow defender Jason Hoffman (calf) and Finnish striker Aleksandr Kokko (Achilles) are also in doubt for this weekend's clash with Brisbane.
The pair await their own scan results to rule out serious injury, but participated in Monday's team recovery session.
"Hopefully they're not long-term injuries," coach Mark Jones said after his debut match.
"But it doesn't look good for Dan."
It continues a poor run of luck for the Jets who, along with their well-documented off-field issues, lost first-choice goalkeeper Ben Kennedy to a ruptured Achilles last week.
In more positive news, Jones said Labinot Haliti was set to return against Roar after nearly a year out with a knee injury.
The Jets will also regain Morten Nordstrand and Mateo Poljak, both of whom sat out of the opening game for fitness reasons.
"All three will be right to go next week," Jones said.
"Labi is just a case of giving him some game time and trying to build him up.
"We don't want to give him 90 minutes in his first game back."
Newcastle produced a spirited performance, often nullifying the Reds despite a breakdown in communication between Mullen and keeper Jack Duncan gifting Jesse Makarounas an equaliser to offset Wayne Brown's opener.
The result buoyed Jones' confidence as he prepares to host comeback kings Roar.
"We started without Morten and Mateo, then we lose three as the game goes on but still keep our composure," Jones said.
"We were more than happy with the way they played, it was just about executing a little bit better.
"We wanted to wait it out and not concede and we always thought we'd get opportunities in the second half, which is what happened.
"We just, unfortunately, didn't take them."
Brisbane will also be high on confidence after snatching a point at the death from Melbourne Victory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
However, John Aloisi's men will be without suspended captain Matt McKay.