Socceroos defender Ivan Franjic is confident the knee injury suffered in Monday night's friendly against South Africa won't destroy his World Cup dream.
In a real heart-in-your-mouth scenario just days before the Socceroos leave for Brazil, Franjic limped off early in the second half of the scrappy 1-1 draw at ANZ Stadium.
The marauding right back copped a knock to his left knee in an innocuous challenge with team-mate Alex Wilkinson and a South African attacker.
After trying to run it off and play on for a couple of minutes, Franjic couldn't continue and was substituted, immediately heading down the tunnel for treatment.
But a smiling Franjic emerged from the changeroom after the match, bullish about his chances of recovering in time to take his spot in Brazil.
"The physio assessed it and we just believe it's a knock at this stage," Franjic told reporters on Monday night.
"I've had it iced and it's a bit swollen. I'll ice it tonight and wait for the swelling to come down and then we'll re-assess.
"I'm remaining positive and that's all I think it is now."
The injury problem is the worst possible timing for the 26-year-old, with coach Ange Postecoglou to trim his squad to 27 on Tuesday which will fly out to Brazil 24 hours later.
With central back Curtis Good (hip) already ruled out, the Socceroos can ill-afford to lose another defender in their inexperienced back-four.
Asked if he was confident he would be right, Franjic said: "I hope so. I still have to make the cut but.
"It's just bruising on the top of the knee. That's all I'm hoping.
"I went off walking and that was alright but I felt it running again so I didn't want to take any chances at that stage of the game."
Franjic's injury wasn't the only concern to come out of the game, which the Socceroos dominated early before fading away after the break.
Wingers Tommy Oar and Mathew Leckie were standouts for the home side, while Fortuna Dusseldorf's Ben Halloran made an impressive cameo off the bench for his Socceroos debut.
"I thought it was quite positive the 30 minutes I played. Ange just told me to go out and express myself, be positive and I felt I did that," Halloran said.
"The first 25 minutes we were pretty explosive out of the blocks. We tried to stick to our philosophy and play the kind of football we want to play against Chile in a few weeks.
"We tried to play out from the back, we were confident, we tried to play small intricate passes leading up. With a bit more training we should be more crisper."
Midfielder James Holland played almost 80 minutes deputising for injured skipper Mile Jedinak and believes the side still have work to do ahead of the World Cup.
"We got a little bit tired towards the end," he said.
"It was a fast tempo and we've been training hard this week. The first half an hour we did well but after that I thought we collapsed a little bit.
"It's a process and we're building up at the moment.
"It's not going to happen overnight and I think come the first game of the World Cup we'll be ready."
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic keeps clean sheet as Genk earn crucial away result
Danny Vukovic was the only Caltex Socceroo in action on Friday morning (AEDT) as his Genk side secured a 0-0 away draw against Slavia Prague in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32. Vukovic played a crucial role in earning a clean sheet, making five saves as Slavia bombarded the
Joeys squad announced for next month's UEFA-hosted youth tournament in Turkey
Joeys Head Coach Trevor Morgan today confirmed Australia’s squad for next month’s UEFA-hosted youth tournament in Turkey. Twenty of Australia’s best youth footballers will travel to Antalya in March for matches against the host nation (4 March), Tanzania (6 March), and Guinea