Boyle went under the knife last week after a knee injury ruled him out of the World Cup. The 29-year-old damaged the joint when playing for Hibs against St Mirren last month and at that stage, it was believed that it a was a meniscus injury that was causing the problem for him. Despite being selected in Graham Arnold’s original Socceroos squad for the tournament in Qatar, Boyle eventually had to admit defeat and was operated on in Doha, where the ACL injury was then discovered. He will now miss the rest of the 2022/23 season in what is a major blow for him and his club.
“Basically what I have is a discoid meniscus, where I’ve got a larger meniscus than normal,” Boyle explained. “So that was keeping everything in place, it was keeping my cruciate stable, and long story short, I could have had this ACL injury for about six, seven years and been playing through it. It’s a bit of a tricky one. I’ve been trying to digest it myself – you get put to sleep and you wake up and your whole knee’s been reconstructed. I think that’s why I’m kind of optimistic. I’ve played that long with an injury that’s severe, and when I did damage the meniscus it’s kind of just not been stable enough for my ACL to hold and that’s why I’ve had that surgery.”
Opening up on the heartache of missing out on the World Cup, Boyle continued: “I’ve been better. But it is what it is. I normally take everything in my stride. It’s certainly not ideal to get so close to the major tournament and for this injury to occur – but I can be proud and keep my head held high and through the qualifying campaign and say I’ve done my bit. And obviously to stay here and support the lads, and experience all of it, It’s perfect for me.
“(My job is) keeping the spirits up. To be fair, most of them can be a bit miserable. I think that’s why they’ve kept me around mostly. I’m very appreciative that they’ve kept me around. It obviously means a lot. It feels like I’m really part of the team. Obviously they rate me around the place, which is nice. It feels special to me and obviously a bit of a down moment for me but as long as I can keep smiles on their faces that’s all I’m worried about.”
Boyle will return to Edinburgh after Australia’s campaign at the World Cup is over to continue his rehab at Hibs. The Socceroos have a healthy SPFL contingent in their ranks with Nathaniel Atkinson, Kye Rowles, Cammy Devlin (all Hearts), Aziz Behich (Dundee United), Aaron Mooy (Celtic) and Keanu Baccus (St Mirren) all in the squad and will qualify for the last 16 of the tournament if they avoid defeat against Denmark on Wednesday afternoon and Tunisia do not beat France.