Central Coast Mariners striker Ross McCormack has returned to parent club Aston Villa to have his knee injury looked at by the Championship club's medical experts.
The former Melbourne City striker, who picked up the complaint at training, is expected to return to Gosford before Christmas and will hopefully be available for the Mariners' New Year's Eve match versus Perth Glory.
McCormack has struggled in his second A-League stint, scoring one goal and assisting another in his five A-League matches for the Mariners.
"We’ve decided to send Ross back to Aston Villa to check in with a specialist,” Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey said.
"We expect him back just before Christmas and the best situation we can see at this stage would be having Ross eligible for selection for our New Year’s Eve game against Perth Glory."
The 32-year-old attacker hasn't played for Villa since coming on a substitute in a Carabao Cup match in September 2017.
McCormack was first loaned to Melbourne City for six months during the 2017-18 season, scoring 14 goals in 17 A-League games, before returning to exile at Villa for the second half of the campaign.
With his contract at Villa not expiring until the end of the 2019-20 campaign, McCormack was allowed to return Down Under and link up with the Mariners for the current A-League season.