WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Football Federation Australia (FFA) have decided to assess the extent of midfielder Aaron Mooy’s knee injury, after his English Premier League side Huddersfield Town ruled him out of the Asian Cup.
Huddersfield said Mooy would miss the Socceroos’ Asian Cup defence in the UAE next month, having torn a ligament in his knee that would keep him out of action until February.
FFA, however, said on Friday that while they respected Huddersfield’s diagnosis, they wanted to conduct an examination of Mooy’s injury themselves to determine whether he would be fit enough to play in the UAE.
“Due to the significance of the AFC Asian Cup to the … Socceroos, FFA will proceed with a plan to deploy its High Performance Coordinator Senior Physiotherapist, Phil Coles, to the United Kingdom next week to conduct an additional review of Mooy’s injury,” FFA said in a statement.
“Cole’s visit to Huddersfield will coincide with an independent assessment of Mooy’s injury.
“Socceroos medical staff will then make a final determination regarding Mooy’s capacity to represent Australia at the AFC Asian Cup … following further engagement with Mooy and Huddersfield Town.”
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold, who will select his 23-man squad next week, said FFA had been in dialogue with Huddersfield, but Mooy was an important factor in his side’s chances of retaining the trophy they won on home soil in 2015.
“We have agreed on this plan with Huddersfield Town and know that they are doing everything they can to manage Aaron’s injury,” Arnold said.
“However with such an important tournament coming up for Australia we want to explore every option available to give Aaron the chance to feature for the Socceroos in the United Arab Emirates.
“Of course, Aaron’s long-term career and fitness remains our primary concern and we will not rush him to return to match play before he is safe and confident to do so, however we are also committed to leaving no stone unturned in our attempt to have him available for us at the tournament.”
Australia are in Group B at the tournament, which starts on Jan. 5, along with Jordan, Palestine and Syria.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Toby Davis)