Socceroo Rhys Williams’ flickering 2014 World Cup hopes appear over with Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka stating he won’t play again this season.
Williams revealed last month his recovery from an Achilles injury, suffered in late January, was ahead of schedule and said he still held hope of making the World Cup squad.
Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou needs to name his preliminary 30-man World Cup squad by May 16, but Karanka said Williams is highly unlikely to have any game-time under his belt by then in a major blow to his hopes of being selected.
“Rhys is recovering but I don’t think it is possible for him to play this season,” Karanka told the Evening Gazette.
The 25-year-old defender sadly didn’t make the final cut for the 2010 World Cup due to a pelvic injury and looks set to miss out again.
Last month, Williams said: “My dream of playing in the World Cup is still alive. I didn’t make the last one and I thought this would be the one when I could make a big go of it.
“Maybe it isn’t to be and I’ll have to wait for the next one but time will tell and I’m doing my best to get fit.”
Williams’ fitness creates a major dilemma for Postecoglou, with Australia short on quality defensive options.
Lucas Neill’s selection remains a hot topic of discussion but his recent loan move to Doncaster Rovers has boosted his chances.
The other central defensive options include Curtis Good, Trent Sainsbury, Sasa Ognenovski, Ryan McGowan, Alex Wilkinson and Matt Spiranovic.
Good is struggling sidelined with a hip flexor problem, while Sainsbury returned to training this week with Dutch club Zwolle after a knee injury.1 comment