Tuesday, 10 December 2013 5:36 PM
The Newcastle Jets have been dealt a blow with news defender Scott Neville has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Neville was forced off in the first half of Sunday’s upset 2-1 away win over the Melbourne Victory, with scans revealing the 24-year-old has torn his anterior cruciate ligament.
The in-form right-back said he ‘heard something click’ as he fell to the ground in the 26th minute at AAMI Park and despite the sour prognosis is already looking ahead to his rehabilitation.
“I’ve just been trying to stay positive and that’s the only way you can go about it really,” Neville said on Tuesday.
“I’ve already started the first part of the rehab today and we have a great physio and medical staff here at the Jets, so I’ve just got to take their advice and stick to the tasks they give me.
“I’ll be working as hard as I can to get back as soon as I can. It’s just another bump in the road I’ll have to overcome and I’ll make sure I come back better and stronger next season.
“In the meantime, I’ll be supporting the boys with whatever they need, whether that’s carry drinks or helping to strap ankles or whatever it may be.
“I want to stay positive for them because I definitely think we can go on to have a really successful season.”
Neville is hopeful of going in for surgery before the New Year to ensure he can start on his rehab as soon as possible.
“With most ACL injuries you have to strengthen the other ligaments around it before you get the surgery just to make sure it’s nice and strong going into it,” Neville said.
“I’ll do a bit of rehab for two or three weeks beforehand and get the operation around Christmas or just after the New Year.”
Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said of the loss of Neville: “It’s really disappointing for Scott because he’s worked really hard during the off-season to get himself to where he is.
“I think we’ve all seen how well he’s played during the first third of the season.
“On the weekend we saw Jacob Pepper come in at right-back and he did a really good job. Josh Brillante has played there and young Andrew Hoole has played there in the past.
“We’ve said all along this year that our squad depth is quite good and I don’t think we lost too much from when Scott went off to the end of the game, which was pleasing.”
The Jets are up to third on the A-League ladder after the win over the Victory ahead of this weekend’s home clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers.