The Marquee signing is out of action until 2014 with a fractured leg.
Melbourne Heart are seeking a short-term replacement for Orlando Engelaar after he was ruled out of action until 2014.
The Dutch midfielder suffered a fractured leg in a challenge during Heart’s first pre-season friendly of the summer against Brisbane Roar, although a definitive timescale on his absence has yet to be applied and the club have been told they will be given an answer on Friday.
In the meantime it leaves head coach John Aloisi with a huge problem to solve and a massive hole to fill in regards to team structure and personnel, with the former Australia striker confirming that Heart are searching for a player to temporarily fill in for Engelaar during his absence.
“We’re working through the solutions now,” he told Football Australia.
“He won’t be out for the whole season, we’re confident he’ll back. We have to work through hopefully getting a player in – an injury replacement – and seeing what we can come up with.
“We’re confident that we’ll still put a strong squad together, even (with) the unfortunate injury to Orlando.
“You don’t want to wish it upon anyone, let alone your marquee player. They’re things that happen in football, you accept it, you move on and you come up with solutions and that’s what we ended up doing.”
Aloisi suffered another injury blow ahead of his preparations for the 2013/14 season – which begins in six weeks time – after veteran defender Rob Wielaert damaged his ankle in training.
“Rob Wielaert, he rolled his ankle the other day,” Aloisi said. “We’re not sure how long he’ll be out for. We’re still hoping and believe he will be right for the first game of the season.”