Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has confirmed winger Mathew Leckie has been ruled out of both Socceroos' FIFA World Cup qualifiers over the next week.
Leckie has been battling a respiratory illness that has prevented him from flying out of Germany in time for Thursday night’s clash with Kyrgyzstan in Canberra.
“He’s out for both,” Postecoglou confirmed at the Socceroos’ pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“He’s picked up some sort of bug and infection which meant he was unable to fly.
"We had a deadline of yesterday and he was still unable to get on a plane so he was ruled out.”
Leckie joins defender Matthew Spiranovic (calf) as withdrawals from the 23-man squad for the back-to-back qualifiers.
In good news though, Postecoglou said both ‘keeper Mat Ryan (knee) and left-back Jason Davidson (calf) were both fit and available for selection.
Ryan has completed just four training sessions since recovering from knee surgery, which has sidelined him for more than two months, while Davidson has battled a calf injury since arriving in the nation’s capital.
Even with the two omissions and concerns over the fitness of a handful of other players, Postecoglou denies it’s a concern going into a match his side has to win.
“The work that we’ve done over the last two years means I’m not nearly as stressed about injuries as I was previously,” the Socceroos boss said.
“The guys that are here are in good condition and in good form. Apart from Josh Risdon and James Meredith, all have had good experience at international level so I’m a lot more comfortable.
“To be honest our last performance [2-0 loss to Jordan] wasn’t that great so I would have made changes anyway.
“I’m certainly not losing any sleep over the players that aren’t here. I’m comfortable the eleven we put out tomorrow will deal with the task at hand.”
One of those players Postecoglou can call on is skipper Mile Jedinak, who arrives in camp having played just 90 minutes of action over the last three weeks.
Asked how much petrol he had in the tank for Thursday night, Jedinak said: “A full tank.
“I got through the game physically very well and pulled up pretty good so I’m very confident in all the work I’ve been doing that I’ll be in a good state.”
The visitors have their own issues, with coach Aleksandr Krestinin confirming dangerous wingers Mirlan Murzaev and Anton Zemlianukhin would both miss the clash through injury.
“Our team in the last match didn’t really seem weaker than [Australia],” the coach said.
“The Australian team has lots of titles and achievements; no one can take that away from them."
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