Injured Wright clings to Asian Cup dream

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Injured defender Bailey Wright is expecting to be back on the park in a few weeks and is not giving up hope of a spot in the Socceroos Asian Cup squad.

The Preston North End centre back had surgery two weeks ago for an ongoing groin problem, managing 11 appearances for his League One club this season, before going under the knife.

Wright, who was a member of the Australian squad at the World Cup, scored on his international debut in the friendly win over Saudi Arabia at Craven Cottage in September.

The 22-year-old told FourFourTwo he is hoping to be fit to play again around the end of this month.

“The operation went well, for both groins (to get) sorted,” he said.

“It should only be a few weeks – not really putting a time scale on it but it’s not long term. I’ve had it since Brazil but it just got worse and worse, to the point where something needed to be done.”

The defender is excited about the Asian Cup in January and despite missing the past two Socceroo friendlies, and the upcoming match against Japan, hopes to remain in contention for the tournament.

“At the moment I’m just concentrating on getting back fit,” Wright said.

“If I’m back playing and I’m playing well then I hope that would be enough to push for my spot. My injury has not been anything long term so I’m hoping when I get back to training and playing that I will still be match sharp.

“The Asian Cup would be a great experience and something I would love to part of and very proud to be part of. It’s a massive thing for Aussie football, especially with us being the host, so if I can I get in the squad it would be very special.”