Adopted Australian Martin Boyle’s so far short-lived foray into the Socceroos setup has inadvertently brought an end to his season, with the winger undergoing knee surgery.
Boyle was brought into Graham Arnold’s squad in the latter half of 2018 and featured in friendlies against South Korea and Lebanon.
Offering plenty of promise in those matches and scoring against the latter opponent, the Hibernian man looked set to become a key part of the Socceroos’ Asian Cup defence.
However, in Australia’s final preparation match, a friendly against Oman, Boyle sustained a knock to the knee off the bench.
It proved serious enough to rule him out of the tournament in the UAE and forced Boyle to go under the knife.
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Gutted to learn my season is over but the operation was a success and was the best solution for me to extend my playing career over time. Will do everything I can to come back fitter & stronger and continue to help the team on the field. Thanks for all your messages, they’re much appreciated!! 👊🏼❤️
He will now miss the remainder of the Scottish Premier League season, in which he had scored four goals and registered three assists.
But despite the disappointment, Boyle stressed surgery now would be in his best long-term interests.
“Gutted to learn my season is over but the operation was a success and was the best solution for me to extend my playing career over time,” Boyle said via Instagram.
“(I) Will do everything I can to come back fitter and stronger and continue to help the team on the field.”
In Dubai, where the Socceroos are preparing for a must-win game against Palestine, a number of players are facing a race against the clock to be fit, and according to the Sydney Morning Herald, only 16 outfield players may be available.
Tom Rogic broke a bone in his hand in the shock defeat against Jordan on matchday one, but is expected to play some part in the match.
However, Arnold and his staff will be sweating on Andrew Nabbout and Josh Risdon’s fitness, both of whom are under a cloud with groin complaints.