Melbourne Heart's new Dutch signing Orlando Engelaar may miss an extended part of the new Australian A-League season after suffering a suspected broken leg in his debut on Sunday, the club said.
Engelaar, 34, who played 14 times for the Netherlands, sustained the serious leg injury in a pre-season friendly against A-League rivals Brisbane Roar.
The holding midfielder, playing his first game for the Heart, was involved in a heavy first-half collision with Brisbane's German playmaker Thomas Broich as they contested the ball in the match in Lismore, in New South Wales.
Engelaar was taken to hospital and was to have scans to assess the extent of the damage. "It is a massive blow," Heart coach John Aloisi said. "This was (to be) his first 45 minutes, he only joined us three days ago. It's not good at all because he's a great player and we're expecting a lot from him and for that to happen it is a big shame."
Roar's Albanian striker Besart Berisha scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 win.
Engelaar represented the Dutch at UEFA EURO 2008 and came to Australia after spells with FC Twente, Schalke 04 and PSV Eindhoven.