Heartbreak for Sydney FC captain after cruel diagnosis

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Worst fears confirmed for the Sky Blues as devastating injury news leaves coach Ante Juric scrambling for defensive cover.

Reigning champions Sydney FC have been dealt a huge blow with confirmation captain Natalie Tobin will miss the remainder of the season after tearing her ACL.

The 27 year old was in tears as she left the field on a stretcher less than 10 minutes into the second half of Saturday night’s Sydney Derby win over the Wanderers, with scans subsequently confirming the worst.

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Tobin, who was playing in her 101st career match for the club, will now face a period of between eight to twelve months on the sidelines.

“It’s devastating to miss the season, especially as it has only just started,” Tobin said.

“I’m still coming to terms with it but the support I’ve had from the girls, from the club, the coaching staff and the fans, as well as family and friends has been amazing.

“I’m focusing on the positives and I will still be around the girls giving them every bit of energy and support that I can throughout the season.

“It’s a long recovery but I’m looking forward to getting going on it as soon as I can.”

To make matters worse for the defending champions, Tobin’s injury highlights a distinct lack of cover at centre back, highlighted by coach Ante Juric’s inability to name a recognised defender on the bench for their Round One clash with Western Sydney.

“It’s a big blow for Natalie and for us as she is a fantastic leader and we will need to adapt on the field without her now,” Juric said.

“I know she will be back stronger than ever before, as she is a resilient person who can overcome big hurdles. 

“That is the type of character she is, and we will give her every bit of support that we can.”

The Sky Blues’ skipper missed just two games last season and scored in the Liberty A-League Grand Final win over Western United as Sydney FC secured their second Premiership and Championship double.

Princess Ibini will serve as the club’s captain in her absence.