The 17-year-old will now undergo surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament rupture, which occurred in City training on Thursday.

It's a cruel blow for Sakalis who despite her recognised talent as one of the premier young midfielders in Australia, had yet to properly break into a talent-packed City lineup with several international veterans vying for her role.

Rado Vidosic said Sakalis was with the best possible medical staff at the City Football Group.

โ€œWe are extremely disappointed that Sofia will spend an extended period on the sidelines,โ€ Vidosic said.

โ€œSheโ€™s a very talented young footballer and the future of our club, but we know that sheโ€™s in the best possible hands with our medical team and will come back even stronger than before.โ€