Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has ruled Mile Jedinak out of the upcoming Socceroos qualifiers and confirmed he’ll miss up to three weeks.
Jedinak was substituted out of Palace’s 4-1 League Cup win over Shrewsbury on Tuesday due to a hamstring injury, sparking fears he would miss Australia’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Bangladesh and Tajikistan.
In the post-game press conference, Pardew said he feared a “long term” injury, but added they would need further assessment.
Pardew confirmed on Thursday evening (AEST) that the news on Jedinak wasn’t as bad as first feared, but he would miss the Socceroos games.
“Mile has a little hamstring problem,” Pardew said.
“He definitely won’t be involved in this game (against Chelsea on Saturday).
“It looks like two to three weeks for me. He’ll probably miss the international window too.”
Jedinak’s absence leaves coach Ange Postecoglou with two dilemmas, on who to replace him with in midfield and who will wear the captain’s armband.
Tim Cahill was skipper in Jedinak’s injury-enforced absence during the 2015 Asian Cup and appears the likely replacement as captain.
Jedinak scored from a free-kick in Australia’s last match, the 2-1 win in Kyrgyzstan, and played a full game in the centre of midfield, alongside Mark Milligan.
Matt McKay stepped up when Jedinak missed two group games at the Asian Cup, while Massimo Luongo’s return from injury could force a midfield reshuffle.
Melbourne City midfielder Aaron Mooy is another like-for-like option, who also offers a similar dead ball threat.