Emile Heskey will miss six weeks with MCL strain

Robert Cianflone

An injury sustained in a pre-season game against Melbourne Victory will keep the Marquee Player on the sidelines for at least the first three matches of the upcoming season.

A Grade 2 strain of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee will cost Newcastle Jets striker Emile Heskey six weeks. The 35-year-old was injured in a strong tackle by Melbourne Victory's defender Nick Ansell in the first half of yesterday's behind-closed-doors friendly at AAMI Park. Heskey was helped off the pitch by Jets trainers in the 23rd minute and was replaced by Joey Gibbs.

Six weeks away from the Jets will include the remainder of the pre-season and likely the club's first three matches of the 2013/14 season, Heskey's second in the A-League. Newcastle's Marquee Player will assuredly miss the league's season opening match between the Jets and Sydney FC at the Allianz Stadium on October 11. The club's next two fixtures are home against Perth Glory on October 20 in Round 2 and at Wellington Phoenix in Round 3. At this point, the Jets are hoping to have Heskey back for the big F3 Derby against Central Coast Mariners at the Hunter Stadium on November 2.

According to a club press release, Newcastle are also wary of an injury sustained by loanee Nathan Burns during warm-ups before yesterday's game. The hamstring injury kept Burns out of the friendly and is the subject of further testing today. The Jets are expecting to know the severity of his injury soon. Burns is only on loan with Newcastle from Incheon United through mid-January, so any missed games would be a major loss for the club.

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