(Reuters) - Australia winger Martin Boyle has been ruled out of their Asian Cup campaign due to a left knee injury, the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) said on Tuesday.
Scotland-born Boyle sustained the injury in Sunday’s 5-0 friendly win over Oman and will return to club side Hibernian to continue his rehabilitation.
“We sent Martin for a scan yesterday and the outcome of that assessment is that he will be out of action for an indefinite period,” Australia coach Graham Arnold said in a statement.
“Martin was desperate to stay with us but we’ve decided that the best thing for his long-term career for both his club and country is for him to return to Scotland where he can receive great care at Hibernian.
“Martin has made a great impact and it’s unfortunate timing, but his Socceroos journey is not over and we look forward to him pressing for selection later in 2019 and as we go through the process of qualification for the next FIFA World Cup.”
Boyle said he was “gutted” to miss the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
“My focus now will be on my recovery and returning to the pitch as soon as possible with Hibs. Throughout the tournament the team will have my full support from Scotland,” he said.
Defending champions Australia, who are already without midfielders Daniel Arzani and Aaron Mooy due to knee injuries, will name a replacement for Boyle in the coming days.
The Asian Cup begins on Jan. 5, with the Socceroos opening their campaign against Jordan in Al Ain the following day.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge