Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat is refusing to accept the decorated playing career of Archie Thompson is over after the veteran striker suffered a serious-looking knee injury in Tuesday night's FFA Cup win over Adelaide.
Thompson, who has more A-League goals than anyone else and claimed a third Australian championship last year with Melbourne Victory, collapsed in second-half stoppage time under a challenge from Michael Marrone.
Marrone's tackle was more of a slip than malicious tackle, but in wet conditions it wedged Thompson's right leg between his own legs.
The 36-year-old lay in obvious discomfort on the AAMI Park pitch and required a stretcher to leave the field.
The strong crowd of 10,521 chanted his name but Thompson held his head in his hands as he was carried off.
Thompson suffered a serious injury to his left knee in the 2010 A-League grand final, lost to Sydney FC.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat confirmed the long-term Victory striker was not in a good way, but said it was too early to tell what type of damage his former teammate had sustained.
"Everything else is irrelevant ... he's in a fair deal, a great deal of pain," Muscat said.
"We'll have to get him looked at in the next two, three, four days.
"I'll lean on the side of being positive and hopefully we'll have a good outcome."
Thompson was far from certain to play on into his 11th A-League campaign, only signing a one-year extension in the off-season.
Muscat was critical of referee Peter Green's performance with the whistle in the match between two fierce rivals.
An eighth-minute sliding tackle from Osama Malik on Fahid Ben Khalfallah brought a yellow card and a free-kick but Muscat - and most in the crowd - felt it warranted red.
"There was that many reckless challenges tonight ... if that's dealt with, maybe the reckless challenges stop," he said.
Gui Finkler converted the free kick with a sumptuous curling shot on ten minutes, the first goal in Victory's 3-1 win that takes them to the semi-finals for the first time.
Thompson, who was a 79th minute substitute, won a penalty for Besart Berisha that sealed the game.
The Victory crowd favourite still holds the record for the most goals in an international match after he gathered 13 in Australia's 31-0 demolition of American Samoa in 2001.