The Phoenix defender Vince Lia's A league football season is over before it's begun with injury ruling him out of the game for nine months.
A scan's shown Lia tore a ligament in his left knee during the side's pre-season Cup win over the Central Coast Mariners in Wellington on Sunday and he will now require surgery.
Lia's misfortune continues a horror run of injuries after he missed much of last season with a thigh injury.
Coach Ricki Herbert says the loss of Lia has been alleviated by the Phoenix's recent signing of experienced international defender David Mulligan.
The Phoenix's next match is against the Queensland Roar in a Pre-Season Cup tie on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.