Melbourne Heart have confirmed Dutch marquee midfielder Orlando Engelaar has fractured his right leg but have yet to announce an expected recovery time.
Engelaar suffered the injury in his first appearance for Heart, a pre-season game against Brisbane Roar in Lismore on Sunday.
The 34-year-old midfielder challenged Brisbane's Thomas Broich and came off second best with less than 30 minutes gone at Lismore's Oakes Oval. He was immediately substituted and then sent to the local hospital.
Scans have shown Engelaar, who has a history of ankle and knee injuries, has fractured his right leg but he will fly from Lismore to Melbourne so Heart's club doctor and medical staff can further assess the injury.
Engelaar, who is 196-centimetres tall and has played for PSV Eindhoven, Schalke and Twente before joining Heart, was set to play a crucial role for the Red and Whites in the 2013/14 A-League season.
Heart head coach John Aloisi claimed at Engelaar's unveiling that the towering midfielder was the type of player the Red and Whites had been looking for 'a long time', underlining how big a blow the Dutchman's injury is.
In their three seasons in the A-League, Heart have never had a midfielder with the ability control games both physically and skilfully, and Aloisi had been banking on Engelaar to do that.
The injury continues a dismal run for Heart with marquee signings after last year's big-name recruit, former Socceroo Vince Grella, struggled with a horrid run of injuries and made just one appearance for the team.