May 28, 2018 / 5:24 AM / a month ago

Soccer-Australia striker Maclaren receives World Cup lifeline

May 28 (Reuters) - Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren has received a World Cup lifeline after being called back into Australia’s squad for their final training camp as concerns grow over the fitness of FC Luzern forward Tomi Juric.

Maclaren was culled by coach Bert van Marwijk earlier this month as he reduced the squad from 32 to 26 players for their training camp in Antalya in Turkey.

The 24-year-old, who is on loan at the Scottish Premier League side from German second division side Darmstadt 98, rejoined the squad on Sunday for the camp and a warm-up friendly against the Czech Republic in Austria on June 1.

“Tomi Juric has had a knee issue over the last three weeks which is being monitored by our medical team,” van Marwijk said in a statement of the 26-year-old.

“We hope that Tomi will be able to train and play this week, but his recovery might also take longer.

“That is why we have decided to bring in Jamie Maclaren now so that he also has a fair chance to display his qualities before the final 23-player squad must be announced.”

The squads for the tournament in Russia need to be finalised by June 4, with the Socceroos playing their last warm-up against Hungary in Budapest five days later.

They have been drawn in Group C for the June 14-July 15 finals with Denmark, Peru and 1998 winners France, who they meet in their first game on June 16 in Kazan. (Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O’Brien)

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