Newcastle Jets marquee striker Emile Heskey will miss this Friday's important clash with Perth Glory due to a strained calf caused by fatigue, the club have confirmed.
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Heskey, who has scored nine goals for Newcastle this campaign, was rested for Sunday's 5-0 demolition at the hands of Melbourne Victory.
The decision to keep the Englishman and compatriot Michael Bridges on the sidelines following their midweek win over Wellington Phoenix has been met with some criticism, and the club admit Heskey's further unavailability is a bitter blow.
"Soft tissue injuries, like Emile's strained calf, are a bi-product of fatigue," club physiotherapist Rob Dingle said on the Jets' website.
"Emile got a cork in his calf in the Wellington game, add to that the travel, which have both contributed to the injury he sustained at a light training session on Monday.
"We obviously made the decision to rest him on the weekend to avoid injury, so it is particularly disappointing to lose Emile now."
Newcastle currently sit in fifth position, five points above Perth, who must claim victory on Friday night in order to keep their hopes of reaching this season's finals series alive.