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Jets upbeat on Kantarovski knee injury

AAP logoAAP 29/10/2016 Matt Encarnacion

Newcastle coach Mark Jones is confident defender Ben Kantarovski will be cleared of a serious knee problem and avoid joining the club's injury crisis.

The 24-year-old will undergo scans over the next 48 hours after being helped from the field late in Saturday's 2-0 A-League loss to Sydney FC.

There were immediate fears for Kantarovski's immediate future after he was seen grasping his troublesome right knee that has plagued his career.

"It doesn't look too bad. A bit of trouble with his mensicus, it popped back in or whatever and he feels fine," Jones said post-game.

"You always hope it's not something bad and hopefully it's just something very minor and he'll be right to play again."

Asked if he could even be back for next week's fixture against Wellington, Jones said: "Yeah, 100 per cent."

The early prognosis will be a huge relief for the Jets, who are currently on the lookout for replacement players following a horror injury run to start the season.

The Jets have been hardest hit in defence, with Lachlan Jackson (ankle) last week joining Daniel Mullen (knee) and Daniel Alessi (knee) on the sidelines.

Midfielder Andrew Nabbout (groin) and goalkeeper Ben Kennedy (achilles) are also out.

It was initially feared Mullen would be out for up to three months, however Jones revealed the 27-year-old could be back as soon as round eight.

"It looks like Dan Mullen will be back sooner rather than later. He's a good healer. He's probably only a month away, 4-6 weeks away now," Jones said.

Teenager John Koutroumbis made his A-League debut after coming on for Kantarovski and impressed in his eight-minute stint.

"He's composed, he's a good athlete, he reads the game well," Jones said.

"We started to play out from the back. I thought we were dangerous the last 10-15 and very unlucky not to score in that period.

"We've had a bad run of injuries. Hopefully that gets better, but on the positive side, young Johnny come on and did a good job.

"It's competition (for spots). Someone comes on and does a good job, it always makes it interesting."

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