Socceroo winger Mathew Leckie is set for an indefinite spell on the sidelines as his club look to get on top of his troublesome abdominal injury.
Leckie has been battling the problem for the last couple of weeks with his Bundesliga 2. club FC Ingolstadt 04 confirming he will miss at least their next two matches.
The 23-year-old, who was one of the Socceroos best at the World Cup, played 72 minutes of Ingolstadt’s season-opener a fortnight ago before coming off the bench a week later against Darmstadt.
It’s understood Leckie will now undergo an intense rehab program with the club’s medical staff as they aim to put the injury problem behind them.
"This is always a difficult situation. The player always wants more than is good for him and you have to slow him down,” Ingolstadt boss Ralph Hasenhuttl told the Donau Kurier.
“Mathew must resolve his problems and then work on the basics.”
Leckie had an interrupted pre-season schedule due to his late return to training after his Brazil campaign.
Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou will certainly be keeping an eye on Leckie’s recovery, especially as the former Adelaide United flyer will be a key cog at the Asian Cup in January.
Meanwhile, Australian born defender Brad Smith has returned to parent-club Liverpool for treatment on a knee injury.
Smith is on a season-long loan at Massimo Luongo’s Swindon Town and picked up the injury in the club’s Capital One Cup win at Luton on Tuesday.
While it was initially feared the left-back would miss more than a month with a ligament tear, further tests have shown a small fracture in the knee.
Town manager Mark Cooper hopes to have Smith back on board for the club’s clash with Crewe clash next weekend.
“We think Brad Smith may be available next weekend so we’re not going to rush to bring anyone in for a couple of games,” he said.
“We believe he may have a small fracture on the top of his knee bone, so it’s not knee ligament damage which makes it easier to heal.”