A-League cellar dwellers Gold Coast United will be without Dutch midfielder Paul Beekmans for at least two matches due to personal reasons.
Beekmans has been granted leave because of a family illness and flew back to Holland on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old is expected to be away for a fortnight, ruling him out of the Coast's upcoming matches against Sydney FC on Sunday and their January 27 home clash against pacesetters Central Coast.
"Hopefully, everything will be OK and I plan to come back to Australia as soon as possible," Beekmans said.
United chief executive Clive Mensink said the club had no hesitation in granting the Dutchman personal leave, saying family must always come first.
But added to another hamstring injury to tall striker Dylan Macallister, Beekmans' loss makes their task of jumping into the top six more difficult.
Sunday night's 1-0 loss to Wellington dropped the Coast five points out of play-off reckoning and four points behind the Newcastle Jets, who are second last.