Perth Glory defender Scott Jamieson has been ruled out of tomorrow’s important clash with Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park due to a foot injury.
Jamieson has been one of few shining lights for Glory this season and was picked in the Socceroos squad for the East Asian Cup qualifiers in December alongside club teammate Michael Thwaite.
But Jamieson didn’t train earlier this week and was left out of the Glory squad that flew to Melbourne this morning.
Versatile defender-midfielder Dean Heffernan is most likely to fill Jamieson’s left full-back role.
Jamieson has bone bruising in a foot and is expected to return next week.
The 24-year-old joins Jacob Burns on the sidelines, with the club captain still troubled by a back injury that has kept him out of action for the past fortnight.
But Glory have been boosted by the return of star striker Shane Smeltz, who has overcome a hip-related groin injury to take his place in the team.
Smeltz has missed several games through injury and one due to personal reasons this season but is confident his injury woes are behind him.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle in terms of getting my body right this season,” Smeltz said.
“But I’ve done a lot of work in the last two weeks and I’m feeling as good as I have all year.
“It’s really nice to be back and it’s an important stage for us now, this run home.
“We’ve got eight games to turn things around and we’ve had a really good week on the training pitch this week and we’re really looking forward to this game.”
New signing Matias Cordoba is in line to make his Glory debut against Melbourne but is likely to start on the bench.
Questions have been asked over the fitness of Cordoba, who has not played competitively since November.
But the attacking midfielder has impressed coach Ian Ferguson and his new teammates in training.
“He looked really good this week,” Smeltz said.
“Whether he plays or not, I’m not sure, but he’s certainly going to have an influence for the rest of the season.”
Former Glory captain Jamie Coyne has signed a short-term deal with Heart as coach John Aloisi moved to solve his defensive woes this week.
Aloisi entered the season hoping to employ a back four of Michael Marrone, Curtis Good, Brendan Hamill and Aziz Behich, but all have been sold overseas.
Young left-back Sam Mitchinson will miss the next four weeks after suffering a quadriceps strain.