Port Kembla junior Corey Gameiro's blossoming season is over after the Sydney FC striker ruptured his ACL while on international duty.
The 21-year-old underwent scans on Thursday which confirmed he had sustained a season-ending injury while playing for Australia against South Korea in an under 23 match.
It comes as a massive blow for the rising star who had started the season in devastating form, scoring twice in the opening six rounds.
He had missed a large chunk of last season after dislocating his kneecap when he slipped on a marble floor during the filming of a TV advert for the A-League, but had been on track to put the setback behind him.
Gameiro tweeted his disappointed on Thursday.
"Devastated and gutted to confirm I've ruptured my ACL & that my season is over already. Thank you so much to everyone for there support," he said.
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold received the news from the FFA and said he was 'devastated' for his young striker.
"I don't know how it happened, I just got the call, but we've got the depth and we've got the cover so we'll get on with it but it's sad for the kid," he said.
"It's a big loss because the kid was doing so well. He was scoring goals and working hard and he was having a very good season after a bad season last year so it's devastating."
Arnold had faith Gameiro could bounce back from the setback.
"I'm confident Corey will come back even stronger than before, he's got the mental strength to do that, but it could be a long layoff and I just wish him a speedy recovery," he said.
In better news for Sydney FC, Terry Antonis put pen to paper on a new two-year deal on Thursday.
Arnold said, at this stage of his career, Antonis was better served learning his craft in the A-League instead of rotting away in the reserve team of a big club thousands of kilometres from home.
"I've had a number of conversations with Terry about his future," Arnold said.
"The one thing I do do is care for my players' welfare and try and steer them in the right direction for the right move.
"Terry has a fantastic career in front of him but the patience side is crucial.
"The A-League's getting better and better but his first goal has to be performing every week consistently for Sydney FC and playing for Socceroos."
Arnold has been a vocal critic of young players chasing the European dream before they're ready and praised the work of Antonis' agent, Vince Grella, in recognising what was best for his client.
Grella played under Arnold when he was the Socceroos coach, and his former boss said the ex-Parma and Empoli midfielder was instrumental in Antonis staying put.
"Young boys who go overseas need to play and if they don't then they're not going to develop and get anywhere," Arnold said.
"Terry has a very understanding and intelligent agent who hasn't tried to push him overseas too early.
"Vince Grella is a knowledgeable guy and he realises the best thing for Terry is to be here at the club he loves and in the city he was brought up in.
"Terry realises where he's at. He's playing regularly now and has to put in a few strong seasons before he goes anywhere," Arnold said.