SOUTH China's injury-prone playmaker Leslie Santos will miss the club's Asian Cup-Winners' Championship first-round first-leg tie against Dalian at Mongkok Stadium on Monday. Santos, who had just recovered from a knee operation, was playing in only his second first-team match of the season when he was brought down from behind by Sing Tao's Ian Docker on Tuesday. The talented midfielder's left knee was badly swollen and yesterday he was told by the doctor to take a complete rest for another two weeks, also ruling him out of the second leg in Dalian on October 15. ''The doctor drew one cylinder of fluid from the knee and said it was quite badly injured and I may need a second operation but I wouldn't want to have the knee cut up again,'' said Santos. ''I can't bend my left leg now but I hope the swelling will subside and I can get back into training after two weeks. I hope I won't have to rest for too long.'' Santos has been plagued by injury throughout 1993, hurting his back in January and, just when he was able to get back into action, hurting his knee in a league match against British Forces in April. South China may have to make major changes to their formation for Monday's Cup tie as there is a big question mark over another midfield general, Chiu Chung-man. Chiu, who came into prominence this year after taking over Santos' position, went to hospital yesterday for an operation on a broken nose sustained during a league game against Rangers the previous week. There is a possibility that youth international Cheung Sai-ho may get a first-team call-up but it is understood team officials are worried about his lack of experience. South Cina are allowed to field only three of their five foreign players and chosen for the two ties are goalkeeper Allen McKnight, central defender Dennis Koffyberg and striker Anto Grabo. They have left out Niels Gerestein and Marko Perinovic.