|By JOHN GRECO
Sydney FC's finals hopes have taken a blow, with defender Pascal Bosschaart ruled out for the rest of the A-League season due to a heel injury.
Scans on Tuesday revealed the 32-year-old will need surgery to repair a small tear in his Achilles and to remove a bone spur on his heel.
Bosschaart had surgery on an Achilles problem at the end of last season but it is understood the current injury is not related.
He is expected to undergo surgery early in February.
A shattered Bosschaart took to Twitter on Tuesday to reveal his season was over.
"Gonna hold me on the sidelines for at least 6 months again," the Dutchman posted.
"So a sad day for me. I will [be] getting back harder and stronger."
After his long rehabilitation from his previous Achilles injury, Bosschaart has managed just six appearances for the Sky Blues this season in a difficult season for the club.
Sydney FC medical staff were hopeful of trying to ease Bosschaart through the rest of the season by managing the problem but - following further scans - surgery was the only option.
"It's definitely a blow for us but we will push on with the players who have been getting the job done in recent weeks," Sky Blues boss Frank Farina said.
"Pascal is an experienced player and we will miss that experience as we move towards the business end of the season.
"It is a shame he picked up the injury as he was looking good after such a long layoff from the injury he suffered last year."
This recent setback will cast serious doubts over the playing future of the veteran defender, who still has another year to run on his Sydney FC contract.
With fellow centre-back Adam Griffiths also currently on the sidelines, Farina may also look to add another defender to his squad before the transfer window closes.
The Sky Blues - having taken the first step towards reviving their season by beating Melbourne Heart last Sunday - host struggling Wellington at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, as they bid to close the gap on the top-six from their standing in ninth.