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.

“We are extremely disappointed that Sofia will spend an extended period on the sidelines,” Vidosic said.

“She’s a very talented young footballer and the future of our club, but we know that she’s in the best possible hands with our medical team and will come back even stronger than before.”