Danny Vukovic and son at Genk
Danny Vukovic and son at Genk

Double injury blow for Socceroos

The Socceroos have suffered a double injury blow ahead of the start of their World Cup qualifiers, with goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and winger Martin Boyle both facing surgery and months of rehab.

Vukovic has ruptured his Achilles tendon and is likely to be missing into the new year, while Boyle - only just returned from a knee injury suffered on international duty at the end of last year - is out "for the foreseeable future" after reinjuring it for his club Hibernian.

The latter injury will be keenly felt by Socceroos boss Graham Arnold, who persuaded Boyle to throw his lot in with Australia last year but saw him injured on the eve of the Asian Cup, since when he has not figured in the green and gold.





Vukovic meanwhile has had a remarkable two years in Belgium halted by the injury which was confirmed by his agent Mikkel Beck. Having won the Belgian league and Super Cup last season, and player of the season the year before - as well as earning selection for the Socceroos squad at last year's World Cup - Vukovic, 34, now faces "a long and hard recovery", Beck said on Twitter.

The recovery time or a ruptured Achilles is four to six months, and realistically Vukovic's age means a period towards the end of that scale is likely.





"Surgery went well and have already started the recovery process," the goalkeeper said on Twitter. "Honestly devastated but was given a small reminder when I turned on the TV in my hospital room. My boy with his papa on the pitch. We will be back out there together soon enough!"

Boyle meanwhile will also have fresh surgery on the knee injured last Friday against Elgin City, only his third game back since damaging it against Oman on December 30 last year.


Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has ruptured his Achilles tendon. Picture: Toby Zerna
Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has ruptured his Achilles tendon. Picture: Toby Zerna


"There's no doubting it's a blow because I put everything into my recovery in the last few months," he told the Hibernian website.

"The positive is that I know what the rehabilitation entails, and I'm just determined to do things properly and get back to the level I know I can get to."

Australia begins its qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in September, with Boyle and Vukovic likely to miss the first four games.