Jason Culina heads home due to knee injury

Culina is out of the Australian Asian Cup squad after a knee injury forces him to return to the Gold Coast

Socceroos Head Coach Holger Osieck today announced that midfielder Jason Culina has been released from camp to return to Australia to receive treatment for an ongoing knee injury.

After consultation with the player and the Socceroos medical staff, Osieck decided that it would be best for Culina to return to Australia immediately to commence his rehabilitation process.

Speaking from Doha today, Osieck said he was very disappointed to have had to let the midfielder leave camp, but he knew it was right decision.

“We had hopes that Jason may be available for the upcoming matches, but the latest medical reports suggested that he would not be at one-hundred percent,” Osieck said

“Following discussions with our medical staff we have come to the decision that it is in Jason-s best interest that we let him return home to receive treatment to get his knee right.

“It-s always disappointing to lose a player of Jason-s calibre, but the players and staff are fully supportive of Jason and we look forward to seeing him back with us as soon as possible.”

Before departing Doha, Jason said he was also very disappointed to leave the Socceroos.

“Obviously it is extremely disappointing to leave the boys at this time of the tournament.

“Unfortunately, I knew that I wouldn-t be at my best for the remainder of the competition.

“I-m thankful that Holger has allowed me to return to hopefully recover as soon as possible.

“I wish the boys all the best for the remainder of the AFC Asian Cup and I-ll be watching from home,” concluded Culina.

Under the AFC Asian Cup Regulations, Osieck is unable to bring a substitute player into the Socceroos squad for the remainder of the tournament.

The Socceroos will face Uzbekistan at Khalifa stadium in the semi-finals of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ on Tuesday 25 January (kick-off 7:25pm local, 3:25am AEDT Wednesday 26 January) after defeating Iraq 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the tournament tonight here in Doha.

All Socceroo matches at the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011™ are broadcast live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS (www.foxsports.com.au)