Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams is the latest Canberra sport star to succumb to a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the serious knee injury ruling her out of Canberra United's W-League title defence.
Hopes that the competition's reigning golden glove could feature for United next season after originally being ruled out were dashed when she went down on her knee while playing for Swedish club Pitea IF.
Williams could possibly return between the posts for United if she undergoes the ligament augmentation and reconstruction system (LARS) surgery, which has a recovery period of four months compared to nine months for the traditional method.
But it is understood that given her age, and the fact the Matildas have a light international schedule this year, the 23-year-old will take the latter option to lessen the chances of facing future complications.
Williams was already scheduled to have wrist surgery once her commitments in Europe had finished. That was originally thought to have ruled her out of the W-League season, but earlier this month United officials were confident she could have returned for the second half of the campaign.
United had already been scouting for a replacement goalkeeper, with the club receiving more than 30 expressions of interest from players keen to line up between the posts for the champions.
ACT Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua, Canberra Raiders prop Brett White and the NRL club's captain Terry Campese have all suffered the same injury as Williams this year.
Meanwhile, Canberra FC coach Robbie Graham believes the ACT men's premier league could become ''boring'' if teams copy Canberra City's tactics to topple the champion.
Canberra FC suffered a setback to its quest for a sixth straight title when it was held to a 1-1 draw with City last week.
Asked if other sides could borrow City's plan of hitting Canberra FC on the counter-attack, Graham said, ''I hope not, because if they do it's going to make for a boring season.''
ACT men's premier league: Canberra City v Tuggeranong United at Hawker Football Centre, 4pm.
ACT men's premier league: Belconnen United v Canberra FC at McKellar Park; Cooma Tigers v Monaro Panthers at Nijong Oval; Canberra Olympic v Woden Valley at O'Connor Enclosed. All games at 3pm.